Green Vehicles and Strong Educational Initiatives
Toyota has a long history as one of the foremost automotive innovators in the world. Founded in 1937 in Japan, the company built its reputation on the production of affordable passenger cars for the masses. In 1957, Toyota opened their first plant in the United States, and began to openly court the American market. While first year sales were disappointing, with total sales amounting to only 288 vehicles, Toyota was on its way to winning over the hearts and minds of the American people.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s Toyota concentrated on developing innovative automobile designs that would appeal to the growing youth-centric, college educated, American clientele. That dogged determination to be at the forefront of automobile innovation led Toyota to spearhead a new generation of affordable, fuel efficient, cars that would appeal to customers throughout the United States, and around the world. Today, Toyota continues to lead the world in automobile innovation with its line of hybrid vehicles and its dedication to the concept of green motoring.
Toyota, like many successful corporations, understands that they do not operate in a vacuum. Their customers, and the communities in which they operate, are the company’s life blood, and without them the Toyota Motor Company would be a distant memory. The U.S. Division of Toyota has a long history of philanthropic initiatives, supporting regional and national programs dedicated to the environment, education, and diversification. Toyota’s charitable donations support museums, national parks, hospitals, schools, research centers and advocacy groups. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed more than half a billion dollars to important philanthropic programs across the United States.
Toyota Supports Education Programs
Toyota has made a commitment to education in the United States, and has partnered with a variety of national organizations to provide scholarship and grant opportunities for students who may not otherwise be able to afford a college education. Many of these philanthropic initiatives target women and minorities, with the intention of diversifying the college landscape and encouraging students to pursue professional careers in fields in which they have been historically underrepresented.
The majority of scholarships and grants supported by Toyota are administered through the partnering entities, and students will have to apply directly through the organizations involved. The following organizations and foundations are supported by charitable donations from the Toyota Motor Corporation:
- The American Indian College Fund – Toyota has partnered with the American Indian College Fund to support the Toyota Sales Tribal College Scholarship. One hundred scholarships are awarded annually to Native American students enrolled in a tribal college, or in a participating national college or university. Award amounts are determined by financial need and course of study.
- The Hispanic Scholarship Fund – The Hispanic Scholarship Fund and Toyota Motor Sales have combined to offer the HSF/Toyota High School Scholarship Program. Applicants must be high school seniors who are U.S. citizens of Hispanic heritage. To be eligible, applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and must be enrolled, or preparing to enroll, at one of the 34 participating colleges and universities. Average award amount is $5000.
- The Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities – Every year Toyota sponsors a Toyota Scholar at each of the 20 independent colleges and universities within the state of Kentucky. Awards are determined on the basis of academic achievement and financial need.
- The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation – Toyota Motor Corporation has endowed a scholarship fund to be administered through the Marine Corp Scholarship Foundation. A $5000 scholarship is awarded every year to a Marine Corps service member or veteran from one of the company’s twelve regions across the United States.
- The National FFA Organization – Toyota has teamed with the FFA, formerly the Future Farmers of American, to offer an annual scholarship for minority students pursuing degrees related to a career in agriculture. The purpose of the program is to encourage a diversification in the agricultural industry.
- The United Negro College Fund – The Toyota/UNCF Scholarship Program is available to students enrolled at one of seven UNCF member colleges or universities. Forty scholarships are awarded every year. Awards are determined on the basis of academic merit and financial need. The maximum award amount is $7500.
- Youth For Understanding – As one of the first corporate sponsors of Youth For Understanding, Toyota has funded more than 500 scholarships for students studying abroad. The Toyota-TEMA Scholarship covers full tuition costs for a summer of study in Brazil, Germany or Japan. Awards are determined strictly on the basis of merit.
The Toyota U.S.A. Foundation
The Toyota U.S.A. Foundation is one of the corporation’s flagship philanthropic initiatives. The foundation supports K-12 education programs throughout the country, with an emphasis on increasing educational opportunities in mathematics, science and environmental science. The foundation provides funding to schools and institutions in all 50 states. While no scholarships or grants are available to students themselves, the program helps to ensure that educational opportunities are available for students from all ethnic and economic backgrounds.