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Toyota Awards $1 Million in Scholarships to 100 High School Seniors - Roslyn High's Urbach Named One of Only 12 'National' Winners; Receives $20,000

ROSLYN HEIGHTS, N.Y., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Jourdan Urbach, a senior at Roslyn High School, is at the head of an exclusive class. Urbach was one of only 12 seniors nationwide to be named a "national" Toyota Community Scholar. That's quite an accomplishment when you consider that more than 8,000 seniors from across the country were nominated by their schools.

The Scholars program, now in its 13th year, honors the top 100 students in the U.S. who are proven leaders, both in the classroom and in the communities in which they live and serve. The winners were awarded a combined total of $1 million in college scholarships recently by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS). The scholarships are valued at $20,000 (for national winners like Urbach) or $10,000 each, over four years, for study at a four-year college or university starting in the fall of 2009.

Since the Toyota Community Scholars program began in 1997, TMS has awarded over $14 million in scholarships to 1,300 students across the U.S.

The judges who chose the 2009 Toyota Community Scholars' class were impressed with the many volunteer projects in which Urbach has participated, particularly his founding of Children Helping Children (CHC), a musical charity foundation which raises funds through Concerts for a Cure. Urbach created Concerts for a Cure to utilize his gift as an award-winning violinist in helping to raise $1.5 million in the fight against neurological disease.

At age seven, Urbach was visiting tri-state area Intensive Care Units and neurosurgery wards performing music for children recovering from surgeries and treatments. Over the years he has traveled as an international concert violinist to perform at major concert venues including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Hall.

"How a young person learns to act in the world during the formative years molds the kind of world-citizen and national leader he or she will be in the future," says Urbach.

Using his name as a headline performer, Urbach soon began enlisting fellow musicians and symphony orchestras to take part in fundraisers at major national concert halls. He has encouraged 700 young musicians to spearhead CHC satellite chapters across the nation with the common goal of saving lives through music.

Drawing audiences in the thousands, benefit concert funds helped to establish a musical therapy pain management program for children recovering from critical surgery, in addition to surgery endowments for indigent children in need of life saving brain stem surgery.

CHC also provides funding for hospitals, research and international medical organizations targeting neurological disease.

Benefiting charities have included the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Mott Children's Hospital's Ronald McDonald House at University of Michigan Medical Center and the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function.

Urbach is a perfect example of what the Toyota Community Scholars program is all about.

"In these tough economic times, it is particularly rewarding to see these students having such a tremendous impact in their communities," said Michael Rouse, TMS vice president of philanthropy and community affairs. "They are stellar examples of service and commitment and remind us all what's really important."

Determined to create a "youthquake" across the globe by putting a face on philanthropy in healthcare, Urbach continues to inspire young musicians to get involved in this international movement.

"I have learned through my years of service that there is no age limit for doing something extraordinary for humanity," says the scholar. "My dream is to see symphony orchestras and young soloists working together in every city around the world, raising funds and awareness to cure neurological disease through their art."

About Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion. Established in 1957, TMS markets products and services through a network of more than 1,400 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers. Toyota directly employs more than 34,000 people in the U.S. and sold more than 2.2 million vehicles in 2008.

SOURCE Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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