7-Eleven, Inc. president and CEO Jim Keyes announced the company's "Education is Freedom" campaign with commitments valued at approximately $10 million over the next four years to support Mexico President Vicente Fox's economic development programs at a news conference Saturday March 3rd at President Fox's hometown of Guanajuato.
In addition, 7-Eleven, Inc. and 7-Eleven Mexico, S.A. de C.V., headed by Luis Chapa of Monterey, Mexico, anticipate installing 37 of 7-Eleven's V.com financial services kiosks in Mexican 7-Eleven stores to facilitate safe and convenient money-transfer transactions between the United States and Mexico. 7-Eleven plans to negotiate an agreement with Western Union Financial Services and its partners, including other Western Union agents, to provide the money transfer services in Mexico.
V.com is 7-Eleven, Inc.'s web-enabled, integrated financial and online services kiosk in the United States that merges the capabilities of an ATM with the benefits of the Internet. During the initial stage of introduction in two U.S. states, V.com will provide financial services beyond those of a conventional ATM that will include money orders, money transfers and check cashing.
In the future, 7-Eleven anticipates that U.S. customers will be able to have touch-screen access to services such as bill payment, deposit capability, event ticketing, travel directions and road maps. V.com has been designed to allow customers online shopping and fulfillment options using 7-Eleven's daily distribution infrastructure.
7-Eleven's pledge to President Fox and the Office of Mexicans Living Abroad is a new, multi-tiered program focusing on Mexican-Americans. It is a part of 7-Eleven stores' "Education Is Freedom" campaign, which will be announced as a pilot program at Saturday's news conference in Guanajuato. Over the next four years, 7-Eleven will provide:
Scholarships: $100,000 in direct, educational grants for Mexican-Americans administered through the Hispanic College Fund. In addition, 7-Eleven will conduct an in-store, collection-canister campaign in the United States and Mexico to raise funds for scholarships for Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.
Career Opportunities: Retail training programs and employment for Mexican-Americans and internships for college students.
Business Opportunities: Vocational and entrepreneurial franchise opportunities offering a dual-career option with 7-Eleven. This program will put young entrepreneurs on the track to either joining 7-Eleven at the corporate level or franchise their own 7-Eleven business.
"At 7-Eleven, we believe that support of social services can contribute to increased shareholder value," said Mr. Keyes. "We also believe that education is the key to freedom in all countries and across cultures. It is our hope that 7-Eleven's multi-million dollar investment in the 'Education is Freedom' campaign will support the initiatives of both President Fox and U.S. President George W. Bush."
President Fox's news conference with 7-Eleven and other major corporations highlights a two-day event called "Remittances and Services: Commitment to the Paisano." The new program to meet the needs of immigrants, Mexican-Americans and Mexicans in the immigrant sending areas was organized by Dr. Juan Hernandez, President Fox's Advisor for Mexicans Living Abroad, who heads a new Cabinet-level Ministry located in Los Pinos, the Mexican White House.
The event focuses on discussions on how businesses, non-profit and Mexican-Americans working in the United States can use their contributions and business resources to aid key education, health and social needs of the paisano population in the United States, their families and the communities in the immigrant-sending regions of Mexico.
"President Fox has bold and visionary ideas to bring the nations of our hemisphere together and help Mexicans living abroad, Mexican-Americans in the United States and their families in Mexico," said Mr. Chapa. "We are pleased and committed to being a part of this exciting program and thank President Fox and his Cabinet for including 7-Eleven in their 'Commitment to the Paisano' programs this weekend."