By John Montford
Chairman, General Motors Foundation
Senior Advisor, GM Government Relations and Global Public Policy
Education has always been my passion, so I am excited to tell you that today is an especially important day.
I can’t think of anything more important than investing in tomorrow’s leaders. We’ve talked so much in the past few years about the competitiveness of the U.S. auto industry. Collectively, returning the American auto industry to the position of technology and innovation leadership — not to mention bolstering our nation’s economic strength in the global economy — requires that we develop a diverse, talented workforce, empowering our brightest minds and ensuring that our best talent has the opportunity to achieve.
To support that goal, today the GM Foundation and Buick launched the $4.5 million-a-year Buick Achievers Scholarship program designed to inspire, celebrate, and enable human achievement. It’s one of the largest programs of its kind with awards of up to $25,000 for 100 qualifying students who demonstrate talent and community mindedness, but have financial need — and, an additional 1,000 students with $2,000. You should also note these scholarships are renewable for up to four years, and in the instance of longer-term engineering programs, five years. If you’re doing the math, that could add up to as much as $100,000 or more for one individual scholarship.
What’s more, at the board’s direction, the Foundation plans to award a new group of 100 students with up to $25,000 a year (again, up to four years) each year – - that means in four years’ time, the Foundation could be funding as much as $18 million to outstanding students.
So, what’s the catch? To be eligible, high school seniors or graduates applying for the Buick Achievers Scholarships need to be entering a four-year college or university for the entire 2011—12 academic year; plan to major in areas such as science, engineering, design and other technology related fields and have an interest in pursuing a career in the auto industry.
Through the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program, the GM Foundation will contribute to the development of the skilled, diverse and talented workforce the U.S. auto industry will need to innovate and lead in the decades to come. To learn more about the scholarship program visit: www.buickachievers.com