LANCASTER – McDonald’s franchise owners Hernando and Fran Marroquin on Tuesday announced 30 upcoming ‘McDonalds Chasing Your Dreams’ scholarships, ranging from $250 to $500, which will be presented to deserving high school seniors from Antelope Valley, Eastside, Lancaster, and Quartz Hill High Schools.
The Marroquins also unveiled plans for a trip for 200 high school students to the November 2 UCLA football game, complete with a tailgate party, in order to further educate students of the many opportunities which await them in the future.
“The Marroquin’s contributions to the youth of the Antelope Valley are incalculable,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris in a city news release. “From their $60,000 contribution to the City’s Museum of Art and History, to their donation of $100,000 to Antelope Valley College, and Hernando’s perpetual desire to speak to youth regarding the opportunities afforded by a college education, they leave me stunned by the sheer enormity of their devotion to our next generation.”
Mr. Marroquin, the franchise owner of 11 McDonalds restaurants in and around the Antelope Valley, including seven in Lancaster alone, intends for both the ‘McDonalds Chasing Your Dreams’ scholarships, as well as the UCLA trip, to become annual events. His goal is simply to knock down barriers that inhibit Antelope Valley students’ desires to receive a higher education.
“Education does not discriminate,” said Hernando Marroquin. “Today you need a degree to get ahead in the job market. I have been involved with the community since I was a child, and every year I look for ways to impact people’s lives. A lot of the youth I see in the Valley have few opportunities and even fewer role models. The Antelope Valley has been very good to Fran and I, and we aim to give back to those kids who need our help to succeed.”
Any high school senior can apply for the scholarships, which will be awarded based upon grades, community involvement, and work experience. Applicants must submit an essay of 500 words or less discussing the various challenges they have faced and overcome. For more information, visit your school’s guidance counselor. In addition, the Marroquins are also looking to identify partnerships which will allow them to expand the program so as to impact as many students as possible.
“The education of our youth is something which impacts all of us,” said Vice Mayor Marvin Crist. “If we take the initiative as the Marroquin’s always do, and draw together as a community to grant our young men and women opportunities to succeed, then we will have a bright future, not only for Lancaster, but for the entire Antelope Valley.”
(Information via press release from the city of Lancaster.)