Buick Achievers Names First Four Scholarship Recipients

Students get $25,000 annual scholarship for classroom and community excellence
Mar 29, 2012 4:15 PM ET

(3BL Media) Detroit, MI – March 29, 2012 - The Buick Achievers Scholarship Program announced today the first four of its 100 National award winners for 2012, including the first current undergraduate recipient of a Buick Achievers Award under a new program expansion. These four students will each receive a scholarship of up to $25,000 that is renewable for up to four years.

The nearly $9 million scholarship program launched by Buick and the General Motors Foundation in 2011 rewards 2,200 outstanding students from across the country who demonstrate excellence in the classroom and community but lack the financial resources to attend college. Eligibility was expanded this year from first-time college attenders to include current undergraduate students

“With U.S. student loan debt now totaling more than $1 trillion, the impact the Buick Achievers Scholarship will have on these students is immeasurable,” said Vivian Pickard, president, GM Foundation. “They will have the freedom to attend and excel in college without the financial pressures most students face.”

With the future of manufacturing and related industries driven by new technologies, Buick and the GM Foundation specifically developed the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program to support students interested in science, technology, engineering, math, and other related fields of study. And it comes at a time when there are only about 1,472 math and science graduates for every 100,000 employed 25- to 34-year-olds in the United States, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

"The combination of community involvement and passion for math and science exhibited by these Buick Achiever Scholarship recipients demonstrates the core values and beliefs upon which this unique scholarship was founded,” said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president, Buick Marketing. 

 The first four recipients of the 2012 Buick Achievers Scholarship Program include:

  • Erik Avila of Los Angeles, Calif., a freshman at California State University: Los Angeles majoring in transportation design, Erik is the first current undergraduate recipient of the Buick Achievers Scholarship.  He volunteers regularly for United Way of Los Angeles, was a lead coordinator for the environmental non-profit Heal the Bay and a Top Cadet in the Los Angeles Fire Department Station Cadet Program. In addition to volunteering, Erik joined the ecoCar 2 team at his university that will compete against 15 schools nationwide to build a hybrid vehicle with little to no emissions. 
  • Alex Baker of McDonald, Pa., hopes to major in mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and eventually have a career in the designing and production of cars and trucks.  As captain of his high school basketball team, Alex uses his on-court skills off the court by serving as a counselor for a youth basketball camp in his hometown.  He also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, was a show ring crew volunteer for the Montour Valley Horsemen’s Association and was a member of Future Farmers of America
  • Melissa Rey of Chesterfield, Mo., hopes to major in engineering technology to combine her love of cars with her passion for problem solving. Melissa volunteered for the Special Olympics, as an Earth Day coordinator and on her high school’s Green Team. For the past three years, she has designed and coordinated a Summer Science Camp for Girls that helps underprivileged girls break the cycle of poverty through education and developing their passion for science. In addition to her volunteer work, Melissa is active in her high school’s drama department using her engineering skills to design and built sets for plays.
  • Armisha Roberts of Boynton Beach, Fla., plans to major in mathematics to develop an eventual career in electrical engineering.  She hopes to one day be at the forefront of the conversation and development of future of electric vehicles.  Armisha has played an active role in her community and has volunteered for several service projects, including Toys for Tots, Relay for Life and Education Rocks.  Armisha was also appointed to serve as the student voting member on the Education and Youth Advisory Board for Boynton Beach, which provides assistance to various clubs and organizations in the community. 

The Buick Achievers Scholarship Program provides up to $25,000 a year to 100 students, renewable for up to four years and one additional year for qualified five-year engineering programs.  An additional 1,000 students receive a one-time $2,000 award.

For more information about the program, or to register for e-mail notification when the next application window opens, visit www.buickachievers.com.

The complete 2012 class of Buick Achiever Scholarship Program recipients will be announced in June.


About the GM Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to deserving American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, Environment and Energy and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates.  Funding of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM.  The last contribution to the GM Foundation was made in 2001. For more information, visit www.gm.com/corporate/responsibility/community.

About Buick
Buick is a modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors with thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models, including the Enclave crossover, LaCrosse sedan, Regal sport sedan, Buick Verano sedan and the all-new 2013 Encore crossover. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick or at www.facebook.com/buick.