EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Taco Bell Foundation awarded $3 million in Live Más Scholarships to 300 young people across the country, and one of them was Isabella Mashanski from East Brunswick, NJ. She received $25,000 (the highest amount awarded). Isabella was chosen out of the 8,000 students who applied. Of the 300 winners, she was one of only 16 who received the $25,000 award. Machanski will use the scholarship to study film arts at the Studio School Los Angeles.

The East Brunswick High School Senior has two deaf parents, who inspired her dream to open her own production company one day that showcases deaf and blind actors in film. She recently started DHB, Deaf Hearing and Blind acting studio, providing deaf and blind communities acting and film classes. She hopes to help the deaf and blind communities become less deprived of jobs and put smiles on peoples’ faces in the process. Check out Isabella’s application video here.

In her acceptance video, Machanski discussed her desire to help increase opportunities in film and television for the deaf and blind and her decision to pursue that goal in college.  The Studio School, formerly the Relativity School, is the only higher-education venue that is located in an actual Hollywood studio.

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Live Más Scholarship Background:

After seeing its Live Más Scholarship application double to 8,000 submissions this year, Taco Bell knew it was important to double its funds to $3 million. The Live Más Scholarship is designed to help youth and employees pursue their unique passions that may not necessarily fit into the traditional “academic” or “athletic” categories. Scholarships range from $5,000-$25,000 per student and contribute to the Foundation’s goal of awarding $10 million by 2022. Winners are not chosen based on academic merit, but rather the passion exhibited in a 2-minute video where applicants discuss what they love to do.