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Two local students win first-generation scholarships

An area program supports local students who are the first generation in their families to attend college.

Being the first in one’s family to go to college is a lifelong dream and an enormous achievement for many high school students.

Mercedes-Benz USA, with support from Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville, helped turn that dream into a reality for local students.

The following East Tennessee students were awarded $10,000 Drive Your Future scholarships: Emily Pile, York Agricultural Institute student, attending Carson-Newman College in the fall and Ebonee Trice, Union City High School student, attending Tennessee State University in the fall.

The scholarship recipients are among 150 college-bound high school seniors selected from an applicant pool of more than 8,000 students.

“Drive Your Future celebrates the successes of these students who will one day become leaders in business, engineering, technology and the arts,” said Paul Halata, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA.

“Their dedication to excellence, hard work and an anything-is-possible mindset is truly impressive. Going to college is an extraordinary achievement for any young person, but rising tuition costs have made higher education more and more difficult to afford.

“We salute the one hundred fifty students that were selected for the two thousand six Drive Your Future scholarship, and we thank our local dealer,” Halata said.

“Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville who has played such an important role in helping these students realize their dreams.”

Now in its third year, the Drive Your Future program was developed to respond to a critical nationwide need for scholarships to help students offset the costs of postsecondary education.

Recent research shows more than 70 percent of students said that student loans were very or extremely important in allowing them access to education after high school.

To respond to this need, Drive Your Future scholarship awards have tripled since 2004.

The recipients demonstrated financial need as well as exceptional achievement in the areas of academic performance, leadership and school and community activities.

They will be requested to serve as “ambassadors of Mercedes-Benz USA philanthropy” by giving back to the community through activities such as mentoring and/or tutoring younger students.

Administered by Scholarship America, Drive Your Future is part of MBUSA’s broader philanthropic initiative aimed at educating and empowering future generations by helping young people reach their full potential and become the leaders of their generation.

For more information, interested students may visit


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