MUNSTER | Northwest Indiana McDonald’s Operators and the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana have awarded the first HOPE Scholarships to 10 outstanding high school students.
The HOPE Scholarship program is funded by NIMO as part of its ongoing partnership with the food bank, and was established this year to support graduating high school seniors interested in pursuing degrees in business management, hospitality and agricultural studies.
Scholarship recipients include: Kaitlyn Adkins, Alexandra Pavlinac, Zachary Smith and Cody Spoolstra, all from Portage High School; Arielle Martin and Emily Mis, both of Munster High; Sarah Reed, of Crown Point High; Anissa Ortiz, of Epic Academy Charter High in Chicago; Sergio Hernandez, of South Newton High; and Kiesha Jackson, of 21st Century Charter School in Gary.
Scholarships were awarded to students who achieved a minimum 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, supported their community through volunteer activities, demonstrated financial need, and plan to pursue a degree in one of the target areas of study. Each student received a nonrenewable scholarship in the amount of $2,000.
“McDonald’s proudly supports programs that encourage learning and the continued education of students in our local communities,” said Bob Mazzaro, president of NIMO and a McDonald’s owner/operator. “Each of these students showed great dedication to achieving their educational goals while lending support to others in their community.”
In addition to the HOPE Scholarship program, NIMO also supports the food bank’s Pantry on the Go program, a mobile pantry that distributes free food to residents in Lake and Porter counties who may not have access to a traditional food pantry.
“The HOPE Scholarship represents an extension of the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, to help students from the five counties to pursue their college aspiration dreams,” said Arleen Peterson, executive director of the Food Bank of NWI. “We believe in not only ‘feeding the line,’ but to ‘shorten the line,’ and the scholarship program is one way to achieve this goal.”