|By Business Wire||
|August 27, 2013 01:03 PM EDT||
The nation’s largest organization of wartime veterans today presented its prestigious 2013 Patriot Award to Samsung for its sustained contributions in education, marking the first time the award has been given to a corporation. Announced at its National Convention, The American Legion recognized Samsung for its generosity in providing $5 million in education scholarships to nearly 1,700 descendants of U.S. war veterans.
“Through an endowment funded since 1996, Samsung was able to show its appreciation to the United States for coming to South Korea’s aid during its struggle against communist forces during the Korean War,” said National Commander James E. Koutz, American Legion. “Through interest earned on the fund, the Samsung American Legion Scholarship Program has granted more than $4.66 million of scholarship money to the direct descendants of U.S. veterans. Because of Samsung's generosity, more than a thousand young men and women have been able to achieve their dreams of obtaining higher education.”
Every year, applications are distributed to eligible participants in the American Legion Boys State and American Legion Auxiliary Girls State programs. Ninety-eight state finalists compete to become one of nine “Samsung American Legion Scholars,” receiving a prize of $20,000. The remaining 89 applicants are granted $1,100 and the distinction of being a “Samsung American Legion Finalist.”
Apart from the Samsung American Legion Scholarship Program, Samsung’s education programs have contributed more than $13 million in technology to more than 500 public schools in the United States since 2004. The company’s public commitment to support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education and provide tools and technology that empower young people to learn and pursue future careers in these critical subject areas takes shape through a variety of initiatives, including Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow contest.
Yang Kyu Kim, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics North America, accepted the Patriot Award on behalf of Samsung.
“Samsung is honored to accept the 2013 Patriot Award, and we are very grateful to The American Legion for their recognition,” Mr. Kim said. “In addition to furthering our mission to support students pursuing STEM education, providing scholarship funds to direct descendants of wartime veterans allows Samsung to show gratitude and respect to those who risked their lives fighting the Korean War.”
In addition to Samsung, other recent winners of the American Legion Patriot Award include former U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton (2012 honoree) and Afghanistan veteran Greg Gadson (2011 honoree).
With a current membership of 2.4-million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through nearly 14,000 posts across the nation.