-- Two Tri-State Area Students Will Each Receive a $15,000 Scholarship in Partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund --

NEW YORK, Sept. 10, 2012 – For the third consecutive year, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. have awarded two students each with a $15,000 scholarship at the league’s seventh annual WNBA Inspiring Women Luncheon which took place in New York City on Monday, Sept. 10.

Ariana Ochoa Camacho of New York, N.Y., and Essence Scott of Waterbury, Conn., were selected by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, respectively, as recipients of the Inspiring Women Gold Standard Scholarship Award.

"BACARDĺ is proud to collaborate with the WNBA, The Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund to provide an opportunity for deserving female students to access their dreams of higher education," said Toby Whitmoyer, vice president, brand managing director, BACARDI rum. “Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. congratulates Ariana Ochoa Camacho and Essence Scott on their exceptional academic achievements and community service.”

“This year's Inspiring Women Luncheon is celebrating Champions of Achievement,” said WNBA President Laurel J. Richie. “Through our partnership with Bacardi U.S.A., Inc., we honored women who remind us that achievement is not just about trophies and medals; it is, at its core about using one's gifts to make a positive impact on the world.”

Ariana Ochoa Camacho is a Ph.D. student at NYU. She has previously received a BA in Anthropology from Kenyon College and a graduate degree from San Francisco State University. Ariana’s current research focuses on cultural dominance, race, gender and sexuality in the experiences of Latina/o immigrants. She has also spent time in the past focusing on environmental justice issues at a non-profit, and is also active in her community, most notably volunteering with Domestic Workers United where her work as a translator to support Spanish-speaking women has helped them be able to tell their stories of exploitation and abuse as Domestic Workers to legislators.

Essence Scott is a senior at Virginia State University (VSU) majoring in Psychology. She is active in her college community through various organizations including the Psi Chi International Honor Society, VSU Gospel Chorale, Psychology Club and Circle K Kiwanis International, and is also a Provost and TMCF scholar. Essence also served as an intern for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Social and Behavioral Research and Evaluation Branch during the summer of 2012. Upon graduation, Essence plans to enter a graduate program in clinical psychology and neuroscience as a stepping stone to her career as a clinical psychologist specializing in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases in the African American community.

This Inspiring Women Gold Standard Scholarship Award was created to recognize adult leaders from the African American and Hispanic communities in the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut), who excel in the classroom, are leaders in the community, and exemplify the values of volunteerism and service.

Last year, Ariel Roberts of Chicago, Ill. and Blanca Martinez of Bronx, N.Y. were each awarded scholarships as part of the 2011 WNBA Inspiring Women Luncheon. The Inspiring Women Gold Standard Scholarship Award is conducted in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

The seventh annual WNBA Inspiring Women Luncheon was attended by more than 300 leaders from the worlds of entertainment, sports, business, and politics. At the luncheon, the league presented women of Team USA with the 2012 WNBA Inspiration Award, which celebrates individuals who show the world what is possible. Past honorees include United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, journalist Katie Couric, Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, and political commentator Cokie Roberts.

About Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.

Bacardi U.S.A. Inc., is the United States import and distribution arm of one of the world's leading spirits and wine producers. The company boasts a portfolio of some of the most recognized and top-selling spirits brands in the United States including BACARDÍ® rum, the world's most awarded and best-selling premium rum; GREY GOOSE® vodka, the world-leader in super-premium vodka; DEWAR'S® Blended Scotch Whisky, the number-one selling blended Scotch whisky in the United States; BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, the top-valued and fastest-growing premium gin in the world; CAZADORES® 100 percent blue agave tequila, the number-one premium tequila in Mexico and a top-selling premium tequila in the United States; MARTINI vermouth and sparkling wines, the world’s leading vermouth and the world's favorite Italian sparkling wines; and other leading and emerging brands.

About the WNBA

The WNBA – which features 12 teams and is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world – is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship, and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement, and diversity. A fifth consecutive year of attendance growth, the highest ESPN2 viewership since 2005, increased viewership during the WNBA Finals, and the signing of a landmark multiyear deal with Boost Mobile as the first league wide marquee partner highlighted the WNBA’s 2011 regular season. The league’s 16th season tipped off May 18. Through its Inspiring Women platform, the WNBA celebrates accomplishments in all disciplines. For more information on the WNBA, log on to

About the Thurgood Marshall College Fund
The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is named for the U.S. Supreme Court's first African-American Justice. Established in 1987, TMCF supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending its 47 member-schools that include public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), medical schools and law schools. TMCF helps students with a clear intention and the motivation to succeed and acquire a high-quality college education at an affordable cost. TMCF also efficiently connects high performing, world-ready students with top tier employment opportunities—access that students or employers might not have on their own. Through its scholarships and programs, TMCF plays a key role in preparing the leaders of tomorrow.

TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF and its initiatives, visit:

About the Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Founded in 1975, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund believes that the country prospers when all Americans have access to the opportunities a college education can afford. As the nation’s leading Hispanic higher education fund, HSF works to address the barriers that keep many Latinos from earning a college degree. HSF has awarded over $360 million in scholarships over the past 37 years and has supported a broad range of outreach and education programs to help students and their families navigate collegiate life, from gaining admission and securing financial aid to finding employment after graduation. HSF envisions a future where every Latino household will have at least one college graduate, creating an enduring impact on the college outlook of Latino families nationwide, and strengthening the American economy for generations to come. For more information about the Hispanic Scholarship Fund please visit: