McDonald's ups outreach on Hispanic scholarships

OAK BROOK, IL: McDonald's increased communications efforts for its second year of helping Hispanic high school students prepare for college.

OAK BROOK, IL: McDonald's increased communications efforts for its second year of helping Hispanic high school students prepare for college. It is promoting its “Steps for Success College Workshops” and the company's scholarship program, funded by Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC).

McDonald's partnered with Hispanic American Commitment to Education Resources (part of RMHC) and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund for the effort. Valencia Pérez & Echeveste, which handles Hispanic consumer marketing for McDonald's, is providing PR support.

In August, the campaign began promoting the Steps for Success Workshops, which are free, bilingual, and designed for Hispanic students and their parents.

Mariela Dabbah, author of several Spanish- and English-language books on college and education, is the spokeswoman, and will host five, all-day-Saturday workshops starting September 6 in California.

“McDonald's has a strong commitment to education, especially in the Hispanic community,” said Cristina Alfaro, manager of the communications department for McDonald's. “We understand, for parents, it is... important to get their kids to college, but they don't know how.”

The fast-food chain provided funding for four, $100,000 scholarships, which were awarded to Hispanic high school graduates in June. This year was the first time since the 1984 launch that the scholarships were awarded on a national level, and Alfaro hopes to bring in more applicants for future scholarships.

“We wanted to... create more awareness of the workshops and the scholarships,” Alfaro said.

Media outreach will focus on radio, print, and broadcast outlets, with Dabbah available for interviews. McDonald's Spanish-language Web site, MeEncanta.com, now includes videos and tips from Dabbah.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article said that RMHC was responsible for the outreach, rather than McDonald's. In addition, Hispanic American Commitment to Education Resources is part of RMHC, which was not made clear. We regret the error.

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