Chris Wozniak, a senior at Brownwood High School, made it through an application process that attracted more than 3,000 young people to become one of 150 students in the United States to receive a $10,000 Walton Family Scholarship this year.
“The letter we received informing us of his selection said that 3,300 students had applied for the 150 scholarships this year,” Rhonda Wozniak, his mother, said.
The scholarship fund was created to honor the accomplishments of dependents of Wal-Mart Stores’ associates.
“We are excited to be able to recognize Chris’ accomplishments with this scholarships and to be able to help his parents defray the cost of sending him to college,” Robert Lee, assistant manager at Wal-Mart in Brownwood, said.
Wozniak plans to attend the University of Texas at Arlington to study engineering. He holds a 4.0 grade point average and expects to graduate ranked seventh in his class.
Both of his parents, Mike and Rhonda Wozniak, are Wal-Mart associates. His mother was worked there for eight years, and his father, for four months. Applications must have a parent who has been a Wal-Mart associate for at least one year.
Walton Family Foundation Scholarships are awarded to high school seniors who are the children or legal dependents of full-time Wal-Mart associates. The awards are paid over eight semesters, and the students must be enrolled full-time throughout the scholarship period and maintain a 3.0 grade point average.
The scholarships are funded by the Walton Family Foundation, a separate entity from the Wal-Mart Foundation. The Wal-Mart Foundation provides three scholarships programs annually to help with college expenses for associates as well as the general community. In 2007, Wal-Mart provided more than $67 million in educational incentives, including teacher recognition programs, scholarships, educational programs and support for local schools and universities. This year, Wal-Mart will provide more than $8 million in scholarships. The Wal-Mart Foundation administers the application, selection and notification processes for the scholarships.