Irving, TX–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–June 21, 2007–Keone Hon of Kamuela, HI was named as the 2007 Hispanic Heritage Youth Award (HHYA) in Engineering and Mathematics, an award sponsored by ExxonMobil. Hon is a graduating senior of Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H. and was honored for his outstanding accomplishments in engineering and mathematics during a ceremony today in Boulder, Colo.
Hon was chosen for his many achievements in engineering and mathematics as well as for academic excellence and commitment to the community. As a national award winner, Hon was given a $5,000 educational grant, a laptop computer and a trip to the National Youth Award presentation in Boulder, Colo., plus the $3,000 scholarship he received as a regional winner. In October, Hon will attend the annual Hispanic Heritage Awards ceremony in Washington, DC. Hon will use the educational grants to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he is interested in pursuing a degree in math or physics.
ExxonMobil has been the sponsor of the Engineering and Mathematics category for seven years and has contributed more than $1.2 million to HHYA. In addition to the educational grant Hon will receive as the national winner, ExxonMobil is also providing an additional $15,000 grant to be administered by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation to support Hon’s educational costs at MIT.
“ExxonMobil is committed to programs that increase both the number of students pursuing higher education degrees in math and science as well as the diversity of students within these fields,” said Gerald W.
McElvy, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation. “The U.S. Hispanic population is growing at a rapid pace, making it a key resource to grow the pipeline of talented future engineers and scientists. And one such way ExxonMobil has been doing that is through our support of the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards.”
In 1998, The Hispanic Heritage Foundation launched the National Youth Awards program to identify and promote the next generation of Hispanic role models by providing educational support and celebrating their achievements in the classroom and community.
“ExxonMobil is proud to support programs like HHYA that encourage students to pursue careers in engineering and mathematics,” continued McElvy. “The students who receive these awards display determination to succeed through their academic achievements and commitment to their communities and Hispanic heritage. Through this partnership, we help to shape future Hispanic leaders.”
Hon’s interest in science and math began at an early age, when he began learning math at home with his father. Dinnertime math discussions developed into more serious study, and by fifth grade he was learning algebra. During his high school years he excelled at mathematics and science, taking all seven Advanced Placement exams in those subjects and scoring a 5 on each one. Hon also spent numerous hours outside of school preparing for and competing in math competitions and was co-captain of Exeter’s math team, which he led to first place at the American Regions Math League (ARML), the nation’s largest team math competition, in June.
Most recently, Hon worked in a cell biology lab at Boston University Medical Center, where he completed a research project on cell-cell adhesion that earned him a semifinalist status in two national science competitions. Hon credits his past accomplishments and future aspirations to his parents and grandparents. “My goals have been influenced greatly by my maternal grandparents,” said Keone Hon, HHYA National Winner in Engineering and Mathematics. “While neither are scientists, they have taught me that education is the most valuable possession a person can own; this has driven me to study hard in school and to set my sights on my goals.”
Earlier this year, the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards program presented educational grants to 300 Hispanic high school seniors in 12 regions: Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Northern California, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego and Washington, DC. During regional ceremonies, students were awarded in the following areas of accomplishment: Academic Excellence, Community Service, Engineering and Mathematics, Healthcare, Journalism and Sports.
Award recipients were chosen by regional selection committees based on their academic achievement, community service, category focus and an essay about the important role their heritage played upon their success.
Studies have shown that the United States will face a critical shortage of engineers, scientists and other technically trained workers in the near future. In order for our nation to compete successfully, to prosper and to be secure in the global community of the 21st century, ExxonMobil believes it is important to encourage new generations to pursue studies and careers in fields involving math and science. To help address the nation’s math and science crisis, ExxonMobil supports programs and organizations such as the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) that focus on improvements in these areas from pre-school through higher education.
About the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards:
In 1998, the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards (HHYA) were created to identify and promote the next generation of role models by celebrating their accomplishments in the classroom and community. In its tenth year, this national leadership program annually provides more than 200 students with $650,000 in educational grants in 12 regions. These young leaders are promoted as role models for their peers and selected to serve in the new Speakers Bureau where they visit their neighborhoods, schools and community centers and inspire other youth to achieve. With the Youth Awards as a feeder program, the LOFT (Latinos on Fast Track) initiative was launched in 2004 to systematically develop sustainable relationships between to Hispanic young professionals who have been awarded and America’s workforce.
The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) celebrates and promotes Hispanic pride, culture, accomplishment and leadership through national and regional educational and inspirational programs focusing on putting Hispanics in a position from which to lead.
About Exxon Mobil Corporation
Exxon Mobil Corporation is a leading international energy company whose subsidiaries have operations in approximately 150 countries and territories. In the United States, ExxonMobil has significant exploration and production, refining and marketing and chemicals operations. ExxonMobil is one of the largest oil and gas producers and reserve holders in the United States, with a portfolio including Alaska, onshore Gulf Coast and deepwater Gulf of Mexico. In addition, there are approximately 16,000 Exxon and Mobil branded service stations in the U.S., as well as seven refineries, four of which are integrated petrochemical facilities. For more information about ExxonMobil, please visit the company’s website at http://www.exxonmobil.com.
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