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CHICAGO -- BP station owners in New York and New Jersey will present a collective grant donation of $200,000 to the BP Community Scholarship Program. The donation will be used to provide 100 students with college scholarships.
More than 180 local station owners banded together to make the largest collective donation to benefit the highest number of recipients since the program was created 24 years ago, according to the announcement. The grant will be presented at an event to honor the recipients on June 28.
Each scholarship winner will receive $2,000 for educational expenses during the 2011-2012 academic year. Judges selected the recipients based on factors such as personal statements, academic performance, extracurricular activities, work experience, individual goals and demonstrated financial need.
"On behalf of the local area BP station owners, we are delighted to support students in our community and afford them the opportunity to reach for their dreams," said Turgay Kadioglu, a BP gas station owner from Woodside, N.Y. "We are dedicated to investing in the future of our community's youth in the neighborhoods where we operate."
The grant donation was made possible through BP's Fueling Communities Initiative. The program provides grants to local organizations nominated by BP-branded marketers to support the communities in which they do business, according to the oil company. The New York- and New Jersey-based station owners combined a portion of their available funding to donate it to the BP Community Scholarship Program.
"The BP Scholarship Program has provided scholarships to several students at Half Hollow Hills High School West in Dix Hills, N.Y. over the years and we're so grateful that our local BP station owners are making a real difference in the lives of graduating seniors," said Maria Goldin, guidance counselor. "With college tuition costs rising, the BP Scholarship Program has a big impact on the scholarship awardees' futures, helping to provide them the financial resources to attend college."
Since the program debuted in 1987, New York- and New Jersey-based gas station owners have assisted more than 1,600 students with nearly $2.5 million in scholarships.
The dinner reception held to honor the scholarship recipients will take place at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. The keynote speaker will be three-time U.S. Olympian and 2010 Gold Medalist in four-man bobsled, Steve Mesler. He’s also the co-founder and executive director of Classroom Champions, a non-profit group that brings currently competing U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes together with students to teach them to embody Olympic ideals.