An integral part of Comcast's commitment to building tomorrow's leaders is to build strong students today. One of the signature community investment programs of the Comcast Foundation is the "Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program," which helps us to do just that.
The program provides $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors across the country who have demonstrated leadership skills, academic achievement and a commitment to community service. This year alone, 1,878 students have been honored with the scholarship — and since its inception 11 years ago, the program has awarded more than $15.4 million in college aid to more than 15,000 high school seniors nationwide.
This year, I had the pleasure of attending Leaders & Achievers Scholarship award ceremonies in Trenton, NJ; Houston, TX; and St. Paul, MN. It was an opportunity to honor these exceptional students and celebrate with their families.
The students selected for the Leaders & Achievers Scholarships are truly the cream of the crop — and it's for more than just their academic achievements, which are considerable. They really understand the meaning of civic engagement and participate in a wide array of worthwhile volunteer activities — whether helping to revitalize our communities, mentoring and coaching younger students, volunteering at hospitals, or participating in local blood drives and food drives and more. These scholarships are Comcast's way of saying "Congratulations," but more importantly, saying "Thank you."
In addition to the $1,000 scholarships, students in each of these cities were selected to be honored with a Founders Scholarship, between $5 and $10 thousand, in recognition of our founder and Chairman emeritus, Ralph J. Roberts. These awards are such a fitting tribute to Ralph, who at the age of 91, continues his work in a variety of philanthropic and charitable causes.
Here's a little background on a few of these outstanding young people:
Lorenza Jerez was awarded a $10,000 Founders Scholarship. She graduated from Perth Amboy High School in Perth Amboy, NJ and will attend Rutgers University in NJ to study marketing.
From Houston, Carolina Torres was awarded a $5,000 Founder's Scholarship. She graduated from Victory Early College High School with 3.5 GPA and she completed her Associates Degree in Arts while a high school senior. She plans to attend Texas A&M University in the fall and her goal is to become a surgeon.
And from the Twin Cities, April Quioh and Aly Xiong were each awarded $5,000 Founder's Scholarships. April is graduating from Park Center High School in Brooklyn Park and will attend Northwestern University studying film arts. Aly, from St. Paul Johnson High School is headed to Harvard University to study medicine.
It was a privilege to be there and see all the young people in these cities accept their Leaders and Achievers Scholarships. I was able to talk to many of them and talk to their parents. Experiencing these young people gives me great hope for the future of America. In each ceremony, we had elected officials who stood for pictures and were interviewed by Comcast Newsmakers. They had as much pride in their young constituents as their parents did. For the second year in a row, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno of New Jersey attended the Leaders and Achievers ceremony in Trenton. She spoke of her pride in seeing young New Jersey students being acknowledged for academics and community service, and she encouraged them all to continue to do community service.
The diversity of the students honored in each city was impressive. All of the students are headed to college with high hopes and high aspirations. Comcast is proud to play a role in supporting the big dreams of our Comcast Leaders and Achievers.