Walmart Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month by Giving Back Through Education
BENTONVILLE, Ark., September 10, 2009 – Walmart is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 – November 1, by launching the “La Mejor Herencia es una Buena Educación,” (“the best heritage is a good education”) national campaign, a continued commitment to serving the Hispanic community through education-focused initiatives. While the number of Hispanics earning degrees is on the rise, the campaign is designed to ensure that those still underserved receive the vital information and assistance necessary to gain access to a higher education.
The campaign includes:
- National television, radio, print and online advertising – the ads, aimed at showcasing Hispanic students who can serve as role models to other aspiring students, highlight recipients of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund/Walmart Scholarship Program.
- Enhancement of www.AhorraMasViveMejor.com – the site will have a designated section that will connect parents and students with individuals committed to helping Hispanics achieve a higher education.
- Education-focused Walmart Foundation grants – Hispanic-driven organizations that will receive or have received funding include: Excelencia in Education, ASPIRA, the Institute for Higher Education Policy, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and the Center for Student Opportunities (Additional information about the grants is available in Appendix 1).
Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic group in America. According to the United States Census Bureau, the latest statistics show that Hispanics have the highest high school dropout rate, at 21.4 percent. However, Simmons Data 2009 found that the number of Hispanics earning a college degree is up 33%. While only 9 percent of Latinos earned a college or higher degree in 2005, that number has improved to 12% in 2008.
“Walmart can play a vital role in supporting the communities we serve beyond the products in our stores and career opportunities for associates” said Gisel Ruiz, senior vice president, People, Walmart U.S. “Walmart remains committed to meeting the educational needs of Hispanics throughout the year by offering scholarship opportunities and initiatives that support Hispanics and higher education. We believe this is the road that leads to helping people live better lives.”
AhorraMasViveMejor.com functions as a portal for parents and students interested in pursuing a college degree. Information and tools related to standardized tests and college placement exams, scholarship and financial aid, steps on choosing a college, and tips on writing admission essays, can be found in both English and Spanish. The site will be accessible throughout the year.
In addition to these programs, Walmart’s other Hispanic Heritage Month initiatives include a partnership between Sam’s Club and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to assist small business owners interested in strengthening their businesses. The nationwide contest, “Como Si,” (“you can”) will award 10 winners with a visit to Sam’s Club corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. to learn practical tips on incorporating technology into their businesses, while improving their bottom line. The contest runs from September 15 to October 15. Please visit www.comosidoingbusinesstoday.com for more information.
Walmart, an employer of more than 171,000 Hispanic associates, has been honored for its continued commitment to the Hispanic community across the company. The retailer was named one of the “Top 12 Companies of the Year” by LATINA Style Magazine for 2009, and honored with the “Best Supplier Diversity Programs for Hispanics” award by Hispanic Network magazine, to name a few.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), or “Walmart,” serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,000 retail units under 53 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2009 sales of $401 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.1 million associates worldwide. A leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity, Walmart ranked first among retailers in Fortune Magazine’s 2009 Most Admired Companies survey. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.
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Ed. Note: Walmart is the legal trade name of the corporation. The name "Walmart," expressed as one word and without punctuation, is a trademark of the company and is used analogously to describe the company and its stores. Use the trade name when it is necessary to identify the legal entity, such as when reporting financial results, litigation or corporate governance.
APPENIDIX 1: Walmart Foundation Grants and Scholarships
Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) – The HSF/Walmart high school scholarship program is funded by a $3 million multi-year grant from the Walmart Foundation.
Founded in 1975 as a not-for-profit, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) is the nation's preeminent Latino scholarship organization, providing the Latino community more college scholarships and educational outreach support than any other organization in the country. For more information about HSF, please visit: www.hsf.net.
Excelencia in Education – Awarded $1.4 million in grants by the Walmart Foundation for the organization’s “Growing What Works” national initiative. The initiative aims to accelerate Latino student successes by refining and replicating model educational programs that are proven to advance Latino achievement in two- and four-year colleges.
Excelencia in Education, a 501(c) (3) organization, aims to accelerate higher education success for Latino students by providing data-driven analysis of the educational status of Latino students and by promoting education policies and institutional practices that support their academic achievement.
ASPIRA – Awarded $1.65 million in grants from the Walmart Foundation to significantly expand its ASPIRA Clubs. These clubs seek to decrease the high drop out rate among Latino youth.
ASPIRA is the largest national Latino organization in the country and the only one dedicated exclusively to the education of Latin youth. Founded in 1961, ASPIRA's core program has been the ASPIRA Leadership Clubs in schools. In addition, ASPIRA provides a host of after-school programs including tutoring, mentoring, math and science enrichment programs, financial literacy, parental engagement and access and training in technology, in addition to operating nine charter schools.
Institute for Higher Education Policy – Awarded $4.2 million in grants by the Walmart Foundation to be used to award 20 colleges with grants of $100,000 to improve retention and academic success.
The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) is an independent, nonprofit organization that is dedicated to increasing access and success in post secondary education around the world. IHEP’s Web site, www.Ihep.org, features an expansive collection of higher education information available free of charge and provides access to some of the most respected professionals in the fields of public policy and research.
Sam Walton Community Scholarship – The Walmart Foundation will award 2,695 students with the 2009 Sam Walton Community Scholarship. Those students will receive $3,000 to use toward tuition, fees, books, and on-campus room and board for the 2009-2010 academic year.