The United States of America is a nation famous for its diversity and vast network of higher-education institutions. It is not, however, a country known for its competitive edge in the math and science fields. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the USA ranks 29th in math and 22nd in science among the industrialized nations of the world, and less than 20% of American high school seniors are proficient in mathematics and seeking a STEM career (science, technology, engineering and math). It’s a troubling trend, and one that Toyota hopes to address today with its latest contribution to young scholars.
To celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, Toyota announced that it awarded 22 scholarships to Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) students for post-secondary education in the STEM disciplines. Working with the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing college scholarships to APIAs, Toyota gave out the awards at its fifth annual event at the Toyota Automobile Museum on May 10 in Torrance, CA. This year, the scholarship pool was made up of over 8,000 applicants!
According to recent studies, only 81% of Asian-American high school students go to schools where the full range of science and math courses are available (Algebra I, geometry, Algebra II, calculus, biology, chemistry and physics). As a world leader in the automobile industry and a company committed to building vehicles for the way people live through its Toyota and Lexus marques, it’s great to see Toyota stepping up and addressing this growing problem in a meaningful way. Besides, if you’ve ever driven or owned a Toyota, you know that a whole lot of science was involved in making it such a reliable, comfy ride.
We’re happy to hear about these scholarships and proud to sell the Toyota vehicles we do. We have a feeling the Toyota will probably need to hire some of these bright young minds to help build models like the new Toyota RAV4 and the upcoming Prius Prime!