Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kmart® celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month by launching the Latina Smart Fund

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- In its commitment to the Hispanic community, specifically Latina women, Kmart is launching the Latina Smart Fund in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. Promoted through Kmart's Latina Smart Facebook page, the Latina Smart Fund will award $25,000 in scholarships to graduating high school seniors and/or students currently enrolled in college, technical or trade schools.

According to The Pew Hispanic Center, dropout rates are the highest among Hispanics; and although nine out of 10 Hispanic young adults surveyed said that a college education is important for success in life, less than 50 percent had plans for secondary education.(1) Latina Smart Fund seeks to improve these statistics by motivating young Hispanic women to pursue higher education, providing financial support through scholarships and offering encouragement through its social media channels.

"Kmart recognizes education is a passion point within the Latino culture," said Nydia Sahagun, multicultural marketing director, Sears Holdings Corporation. "Through the Latina Smart Fund, we aim to further engage and empower the Hispanic community that represents some of Kmart's most loyal customers."

Between Sept. 15 and Oct. 31, eligible candidates can apply for the Latina Smart Fund scholarship by either submitting a 750-1,000 word essay or uploading a two minute video of themselves answering a topical question to Kmart's Latina Smart Facebook page. The top 50 contestants, or most "Liked" entries, will be rated by the Latina Smart Ambassadors (Blogueras) based on criteria such as originality, style, and enthusiasm. The top 20 selections will then advance to the final round where a panel of experts in the areas of business and education will choose one $10,000 scholarship recipient and three $5,000 runner-up awards. For more information, please visit .

About Kmart
Kmart, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation SHLD +6.19% , is a mass merchandising company that offers customers quality products through a portfolio of exclusive brands that includes Jaclyn Smith, Joe Boxer, County Living, Route 66 and Smart Sense. For more information visit the company's website at or the Sears Holdings Corporation website at .

(1) The Pew Hispanic Center is a nonpartisan research organization that seeks to improve public understanding of the diverse Hispanic population in the United States and to chronicle Latinos' growing impact on the nation. 


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