Morgan Pritchett
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Kia Announces 2021 Great Unknowns Scholarship Recipients

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New Kia logo 2021
Photo: Kia

In 2019, during Super Bowl LIII, Kia introduced the world to The Great Unknowns scholarship. The program was designed to replace the automaker’s expensive, superficial ads during the game and instead put the money toward helping students in need. The third class of scholarship recipients was recently announced by Kia, with 16 students receiving $5,000 each.


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“At Kia America, we believe movement inspires ideas. From engineering, to innovation, to design, we are relentless in our mission to make vehicles whose quality we are proud to stand behind,” said Russell Wager, vice president of marketing at Kia America. “Our dedication to innovation extends to the community. We are proud to support talented students in their endeavors to build a better future.”

To apply for the yearly scholarship, students must be pursuing a college undergraduate degree in the STEAM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) disciplines. While Kia didn’t disclose which colleges the recipients would be attending, it did state that some of their focuses include Engineering, Business Analytics, Computer Science, Pre-Med, Neuroscience, Biology, and Dairy Science.

Kia Motors Teases Super Bowl Campaign with Launch of “The Great Unknowns Scholarship
Kia launched The Great Unknowns Scholarship in 2019
Photo: Kia

In an accompanying video on Kia’s YouTube channel, some of the scholarship recipients discussed their hopes and dreams for the future. One student, Erika, discussed the possibility of creating software to combat educational inequality while Malachi wants to teach underprivileged kids financial literacy to help them succeed.

Kia has awarded nearly 50 students The Great Unknowns scholarship, totaling more than $225,000. This program is a key part of Kia’s Accelerate the Good initiative of giving back. During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers from Kia assembled PPE for medical staff. Just recently Kia donated two Carnival MPVs to Kheir Clinic in Los Angeles to help battle medical inequality in the area. There’s no doubt this giving spirit will continue for many years to come.

WATCH: Meet the Third Class of The Great Unknowns Scholarship