Sodexo Honored as "Corporation of the Year" for Commitment to Education and Diversity by Hispanic College Fund
October 24, 2008
Sodexo has invested in the Hispanic College Fund since 2003, contributing thousands of dollars to scholarships, funding 100 students to achieve their college education.
Gaithersburg, Md., October 23, 2008 -- Sodexo, Inc., a leading foodservice and facilities management company, has been named Corporation of the Year for its long-standing commitment to furthering the education of Hispanic youth. The award from the Hispanic College Fund was accepted by Sodexo President and CEO George Chavel at the HCF's annual scholarships dinner in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 17.
In his acceptance remarks, Chavel said that, to meet the challenges of a demographically changing American workforce, Sodexo “is investing in a diverse workforce by supporting higher education among minorities. Half of Sodexo’s new hires represent minorities and this will rise to 70 percent in two years.”
“The most important work we can all do is to provide opportunities for students,” added Chavel, “then step aside and marvel as they seize those opportunities and flourish.”
Sodexo also has supported Hispanic Young Professionals, a leadership development initiative held in Washington, D.C., that teaches promising Hispanic college students leadership skills and professional etiquette.
“Eighty percent of our scholars are majoring in business, science, technology, engineering, and math,” said Fernando Barrueta, CEO of the Hispanic College Fund. “Sodexo recognizes how crucial it is to invest in an early pipeline of youth who will be leaders in fields that will determine our competitiveness in the global economy.”
Students who have received Sodexo scholarships are already finding success in the workforce.
“I received a Sodexo scholarship in 2004,” said Raul Magdaleno, associate director of diversity and community outreach at the Meadows School of the Arts for Southern Methodist University and former Hispanic College Fund scholar. “Sodexo opened the possibilities that led me to believe that where I live does not determine who I am. While living in a homeless shelter in college, they encouraged me to never give up and provided me with the financial assistance I needed to pursue my college education, which is the greatest gift one can receive.”
In receiving the HCF award, Chavel told the story of Annery Pulgar, who emigrated with her mother from Cuba when she was 5 years old. With the help of HCF and Sodexo, Pulgar graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami and is now enrolled in law school there. “She feels that as a lawyer she will have the ability to help many people who feel ignored and without recourse,” said Chavel.
Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com) is a leading integrated food and facilities management services company in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, with $7.3 billion (USD) in annual revenue and 120,000 employees. Sodexo, Inc. serves more than ten million customers daily in corporations, health care, long term care and retirement centers, schools, college campuses, government and remote sites. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., is a member of Sodexo Group, and funds the Sodexo Foundation (www.helpstophunger.org), an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $9.2 million in grants to fight hunger in America.