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7-Eleven to Launch Foundation Benefiting 16- to 24-Year-Old Students

DALLAS - 7-Eleven Inc. on Tuesday announced plans to increase educational opportunities for youth by establishing a new public charity the convenience-store giant calls "Education is Freedom." The company intends to help public high school students and other hard-working young people obtain college degrees or training to secure a better job and quality of life.

"This new foundation is about creating options and opening doors," said 7-Eleven president and CEO Jim Keyes, who came up with the idea. "Many young people believe that attending college might not be possible for them. At 7-Eleven, we know that hard work can create opportunities, and that 'opportunity' is possible through the scholarships and grants Education is Freedom will provide."

The new charity will be launched July 11 in New York City as part of 7-Eleven's celebration of its 75th anniversary. On the same day, 7-Eleven's nearly 6,000 stores in the United States will begin a collection-canister fund raising campaign that runs through the end of the year.

Education is Freedom will offer both scholarship and grants programs. Scholarships will range from $1,500 to $5,000 to cover tuition, fees and books and will be awarded in time for the 2003-2004 school year. Starting in 2004, grants will be made to community and educational institutions that provide job-training programs.

Beneficiaries include young people who don't qualify for assistance programs but who have demonstrated their hard work by maintaining a B average in their high school or college course work.
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