Committed to serving the communities in which it operates, Panda Cares, the philanthropic arm of Panda Restaurant Group, Inc., partners with UNCF (United Negro College Fund) to expand its mission of support for education through the “Panda Cares – UNCF Scholars Program.” The scholarship program aims to secure better futures, by awarding “last dollar” scholarships to high school students from underserved, low-income families of all ethnicities in communities that Panda serves.
“UNCF’s partnership with the Panda Cares Foundation forges a path to success for deserving students,” said Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “A path whose impact is great not only for the students, but also for the communities in which these students will ultimately serve.”
Scholars who successfully complete the program are eligible to receive up to $10,000 in total scholarship support from the Panda Cares – UNCF Scholars Program, with up to $2,500 per academic year to be used to cover the unmet costs of tuition, fees, room and board. Expanding beyond monetary gifts, the renewable scholarships also provide educational resources, including peer-to-peer learning opportunities, webinars and additional online college-readiness resources and assets.
“Here at Panda Cares, our passion continues to be the health and education of underserved youth. Elevating our mission of bringing hope to children in need, we are proud to be collaborating with UNCF to make the pursuit of higher education a reality for students across the nation,” said Dr. Peggy Cherng, Co-Chair and Co-CEO, Panda Restaurant Group. “The Panda Cares – UNCF Scholars Program serves as an opportunity for Panda Restaurant Group to continue inspiring lives in our communities and live into our core value of giving.”
Recognizing the need to be a voice for the unheard, the Panda Restaurant Group, the parent company of the family-owned American Chinese food chain, Panda Express which operates over 2,000 restaurants nationwide, established Panda Cares in 1999 to serve health and education needs of underserved children. In the nearly 20 years since then, the organization has raised more than $107 million thanks to the generous donations of money and time from Panda’s guests, customers, vendors and associates.
Founded in 1944, UNCF is the largest provider of college scholarships for students of color in the U.S. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37-member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness.