Honda Powers Student Dreams through New Scholarship Program

As a longtime supporter of Students Run LA (SRLA), Honda awarded scholarships at SRLA’s gala, where Steve Morikawa, vice president of Corporate Relations and Social Responsibility at American Honda, recognized five scholarship winners in the inaugural Honda Dream Scholarship program in honor of SRLA’s 30th anniversary and the 60th anniversary of Honda in America.

“Like SRLA, Honda believes in helping students achieve their potential,” Morikawa said. “We believe in the positive impact SRLA has on the lives of students across Los Angeles and look forward to helping many more young people achieve their dreams.” For over two decades, Honda has partnered with SRLA to help thousands of at-risk secondary students train for and complete the Los Angeles Marathon.

In an effort to touch students’ lives beyond just the marathon, the Honda Dream Scholarship Program helps students bridge the gap between high school and college, changing the course of their lives through access to higher education.

The Honda Dream Scholarship was endowed this year through proceeds generated from the raffle of a 2019 CR-V donated by Honda.

Over the years, Honda has provided support for student uniforms, nutrition and training, hosted an event for graduating seniors, involved volunteers at water stations and the finish line, and supported struggling runners over the final miles of the marathon. Honda has donated nearly $2.4 million to SRLA in corporate and associate contributions since 1997.

Following the 2019 Los Angeles Marathon, Honda welcomed 275 SRLA seniors along with their coaches to American Honda Headquarters to celebrate the graduating students who have completed one or more years in the SRLA program. During this event, attendees heard speeches from SRLA graduates, ran a 5K around the Torrance, Calif., campus, and tested the Honda Uni-Cub.

“I finished the race despite all the pain,” said Leslie Corona, a senior from Reseda Charter High School Police Academy Magnet and one of the five main scholarship recipients. “This changed the course of my life.” The five scholarship recipients will receive reduced rates on registering for marathons through college, as well as return to SRLA to mentor and run with future classes in the program.

The 2019 inaugural recipients of the Honda Dream Scholarship are:

1. Leslie Corona: Reseda Charter High School Police Academy Magnet in Reseda, Calif.

2. Stephanie Vasquez: Lawndale High School in Lawndale, Calif.

3. Yulissa Jimenez: Orthopedic Hospital Medical Magnet High School in Los Angeles

4. Cristian Avaro: STEAM Legacy High School in South Gate, Calif.

5. April Fernandez: Woodrow Wilson Senior High School in Los Angeles

This fall, Honda will be launching an associate Honda Dream Team mentor program in partnership with SRLA. Honda associates will take turns meeting weekly with a local SRLA group to train for the marathon and establish deeper connections with students.

For more information about Students Run LA, visit or connect on social media via @SRLA on Twitter, and @StudentsRunLA on Instagram and Facebook.

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