Wal-Mart Contributes Money And Volunteers To First National Scholarship Fund For Asian & Pacific Islanders

Three-Year, $225,000 Commitment Announced as Company Celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Washington, D.C. – As part of its continuing commitment to education and the communities that it serves, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. today announced that it will expand its support and donate $225,000 to the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF).  The donation, which will be given over a period of three years, will be used by APIASF to provide scholarships to college-bound students of Asian and Pacific Islander American heritage living in the U.S.

“At Wal-Mart, we celebrate diversity 365 days a year,” said Joy Wooden, a director of diversity relations with Wal-Mart.  “We are proud to support a worthwhile organization like APIASF, and we applaud the scholarship fund for its leadership in ensuring that Asian and Pacific Islander Americans will be able to pursue their dream of a higher education regardless of their financial situation.”  

Wal-Mart is one of the largest corporate supporters of teachers and education – last year alone the company contributed more than $45 million in support of educational initiatives.

The announcement, made today at a press event for APIASF at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., came as APIASF formally announced the details of its first scholarship awards.  APIASF said that in 2005, it will distribute $330,000 in scholarships to 165 students.  Each scholarship will be worth $2,000.

“Wal-Mart’s generous commitment to APIASF demonstrates that they are good corporate citizens and care about our community,” said Timothy Leong, vice president and executive director of APIASF.  “We also appreciate the fact that Wal-Mart provides leadership support to the organization by encouraging their management and associates to serve as volunteers.  The assistance we received from local Wal-Mart store associates during the scholarship application process is a prime example of this.”

Earlier this year, Wal-Mart associates from a Wal-Mart store located in Mountain View, California assisted the APIASF staff in processing and evaluating thousands of applications for scholarships received by APIASF.  In a period of about a month, Wal-Mart associates volunteered nearly 300 hours of support.   

“We were thrilled to have received so many scholarship applications, especially in our first year,” said Leong.  “And the assistance that the Wal-Mart associates provided over those crucial three to four weeks was simply invaluable in helping us review and respond to all of our applicants in a timely manner.”

Wal-Mart executives have also contributed to the growth and success of APIASF.  Michael Fung, senior vice president and chief audit executive for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., currently serves on the APIASF Advisory Board and Fundraising Committee, and has been charged with the responsibility of helping the organization reach its first-year goal of raising more than $3 million.  Fung was recently nominated to serve on the APIASF National Board of Directors.

“It is a true honor for us to be a part of such a worthwhile organization,” said Fung.  “I am especially pleased that we were able to announce our commitment to APIASF during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, a time when we celebrate the history and collective accomplishments of Asian and Pacific Island Americans across the nation.  It is our hope that by providing students with the means to attend college and encouraging them to become leaders, they, in turn, will be able to contribute to the strength and leadership of their respective communities and this country for generations to come.”

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUB locations in the United States. Internationally, the company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT.  More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com.  Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com.

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is the only national organization that promotes the pursuit of higher education among Asian and Pacific Islander American students by distributing scholarships to qualified first-year undergraduate college, university, and vocational school students.  Established in 2004, APIASF has already earned the support of major corporations including AT&T, Wells Fargo & Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Wal-Mart Stores, Hilton Hotels Corporation, Nissan North America, General Mills Foundation and the Asian McDonald’s Operators Association.   APIASF is also supported by several major scholarship programs, including the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the United Negro College Fund, the American Indian Graduate Center Scholars and the Gates Millennium Scholars/APIA.  APIASF is a non-profit organization devoted solely to the financial scholarship needs of Asian and Pacific Islander American students.

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