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Monday, May 27, 2024
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Brownsville Student Receives McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship

For the 38th consecutive year, the Golden Arches is announcing the exceptional scholarship recipients whose academic excellence goes beyond the classroom

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Matthew Lucio from Brownsville, TX attending The University of Texas, Austin id one of the The McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship recipients.  Courtesy of Illustration purposes
Matthew Lucio from Brownsville, TX attending The University of Texas, Austin id one of the The McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship recipients. Courtesy of Illustration purposes

Texas Border Business

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CHIGAGO – Thirty-one Hispanic students from all over the country are confidently embarking on their college journey after being awarded a combined half a million dollars as recipients of the McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship. Founded in 1985, HACER® has become one of the largest programs committed to providing college scholarships and resources for Hispanics, awarding more than $33 million in scholarships to more than 17,000 students nationwide.

Nationwide Recipients. Courtesy Image

In its 38th year, the scholarship program continues to provide educational opportunities to help narrow the gap that exists for Hispanic college-bound students, further reinforcing McDonald’s long-standing commitment to feeding and fostering the diverse communities it serves.

In a positive stride forward, recent research has unveiled a promising trend: the number of Hispanic students pursuing a college education is steadily increasing year over year. Projections indicate that by 2026, Hispanic enrollment in higher education will surpass 4 million students, with a growth rate exceeding that of any other racial-ethnic group by more than 10%1. However, despite this upward trend in enrollment, there remains a persistent disparity at four-year institutions, where Hispanics’ graduation rate is 13% lower than that of their White non-Hispanic peers2. According to a 2021 Pew Research Center survey, the primary reasons cited by the majority of Hispanic students without a bachelor’s degree and not currently enrolled in school are the need to contribute to their family’s financial support and the inability to afford a four-year degree3.

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“Everyone deserves a fair chance at chasing their dreams. We recognize the financial hurdles many students and their families face in pursuing a college education, and for this reason McDonald’s and our Hispanic Owner/Operators remain committed to our investments and fostering educational opportunities,” said Richard Castro, a McDonald’s Owner/Operator and national HACER® scholarship chairperson. “We’re proud to celebrate our newest recipients and encourage aspiring college students to kickstart their journey toward a brighter future by applying for HACER®.”

This year’s HACER® recipients share a common theme: resilience.

The McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship aims to change the narrative from disparity to empowerment by offering mentorship, academic resources and financial aid to support students every step of the way. Recipients are selected based on academic achievement, community involvement, and financial need through a rigorous selection process that includes an application, questionnaire, and interviews with a panel of judges representing academia, business, media and McDonald’s USA.

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Hispanic college-bound high school seniors and their parents are encouraged to visit mcdonalds.com/hacer to learn more about the resources offered in English and Spanish, and for details on how to apply. The next scholarship application period opens in October 2023 and runs through February 2024, continuing our commitment to initiatives educating the next generation of youth.

McDonald’s and its Hispanic Owner/Operators congratulate the 2023 HACER® National Scholarship recipients:


  1. Amy Marquez from Riesel, TX attending Texas State University
  2. Cristal Hernandez from Garland,TX attending Texas A&M University, College Station
  3. Damian Brown from Corpus Christi,TX attending Stephen F. Austin State University 
  4. David von Paumgartten from Buda, TX attending The University of Texas, Dallas
  5. Francelis Santiago Moreno from San Antonio, TX attending The University of Texas, Austin 
  6. Karen Abad from Houston, TX attending Stanford University 
  7. Marcela Mata from Mount Pleasant, TX attending Penn State University 
  8. Matthew Lucio from Brownsville, TX attending The University of Texas, Austin 
  9. Vanessa Veloz from Mineola, TX attending The University of Texas, Dallas
  10. Victoria Blankenship from Sherman, TX attending Texas A&M University, College Station
  11. California
  12. Danna Chavarin from Sylmar, CA attending Mount Saint Mary’s University 
  13. Maya Prieto from San Pedro, CA attending Otis College of Art and Design 
  14. Paola Chavez from Tulelake, CA attending Oregon Institute of Technology 
  15. Sahid Mendoza from Delhi, CA attending University of California, San Diego 
  16. Samuel Rodriguez from San Leandro, CA attending University of California, Riverside 
  17. Vianna Chavez from Riverside, CA attending University of California, San Diego 
  18. Yulianna Valdez from Montague, CA attending California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  19. Connecticut
  20. Roselyn Nahuatlato from West Haven, CT attending University of Connecticut
  21. Valentina Salazar from Unionville, CT attending University of Connecticut
  22. Minnesota
  23. Ashley Sosa Bustillos from Brooklyn Center, MN attending St. Catherine University 
  24. Ashley Villar from Rochester, MN attending University of Southern California
  25. New Jersey
  26. Jaden McClarnon from Holmdel, NJ attending Pennsylvania State University
  27. Jordana Romero-Jimenez from Scotch Plains, NJ attending Seton Hall University
  28. Florida
  29. Salomon Bibas from Miami, FL attending Vanderbilt University
  30. Illinois
  31. Lilia Rodriguez from Hampshire, IL attending University of Mississippi
  32. Indiana
  33. Ariana Gualajara from Winamac, IN attending Ball State University 
  34. Kansas
  35. Robin Robles from Overland Park, KS attending Kansas State University
  36. New Hampshire
  37. Vanessa Flanders from Gilford, NH attending Quinnipiac University 
  38. Pennsylvania
  39. Angie Espinoza from Tobyhanna, PA attending University of Pittsburgh
  40. Rhode Island
  41. Anjelica Guarcas from Providence, RI attending Bentley University
  42. Washington
  43. Vanessa Hernandez Crisostomo from Vancouver, WA attending University of Washington, Seattle Campus
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