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Buddytruk Founders Award $1,000 Scholarship

Buddytruk Founders, Brian Foley and Ryan Salmons awarded our 2nd Annual Buddytruk Madness Photo Contest Winner… Liezel Manalo with a $1,000 Scholarship! #TeamBuddytruk met with Liezel and her family on the UCLA campus next to the iconic Bruin Bear! Back in March, Liezel used her extra time when traveling abroad to rally the support she needed to get 812 Facebook likes to win our photo contest!

To learn more about our other finalists who made the Final Four, visit our blog where we got a chance to know our contestants. Below, check out excerpts from Liezel’s interview (taken right before the winner was announced) where she explains what she will do with the scholarship money and exclusive photos/video below!

buddytruk photo contest winner-ucla-ryan salmons-brian foley-cj johnson

buddytruk photo contest winner-ucla-ryan salmons-brian foley-cj johnson

BUDDYTRUK: What do you like the most about college?

LIEZEL: My absolute favorite thing about college is the opportunity to meet amazing new people from all over the world, to speak earnestly with those people in a truly intellectual environment, and to share with those people incredibly wild experiences.

BUDDYTRUK: What do you like the most about college?

LIEZEL: My absolute favorite thing about college is the opportunity to meet amazing new people from all over the world, to speak earnestly with those people in a truly intellectual environment, and to share with those people incredibly wild experiences.

buddytruk photo contest winner-ucla-ryan salmons-brian foley-cj johnson

BUDDYTRUK: Why do you think you deserve to win the Buddytruk Madness Photo Contest?

LIEZEL: This year I applied to study abroad for 10 weeks in Kyoto, Japan through a program hosted by another UC. Two weeks prior to the program, I had found out that that school’s financial aid office was not giving me the amount of aid I anticipated (despite being advised that I would get what I do at my home campus). Distraught, I couldn’t even consider dropping from the program because it would be even more costly to do so (due to contracts signed, application costs, etc). My last option was to take out additional loans, burning a hole in both me and my family’s pockets. Yet among it all, my many friends and family supported me; encouraged me saying that no matter what, achieving my dream of study abroad would be an ultimately worthwhile experience.

Fast forward to today, I have officially been in Kyoto, Japan for one whole week now. I am yearning to win this Buddytruk scholarship (who by the way, totally helped me move a couch into my apartment early Fall!) so as to alleviate the cost of my loans. I, and the few hundred supporters I reached out to like my entry, believe I deserve to win!

Buddytruk Madness Champion-LIEZEL MANALO

BUDDYTRUK: Any plans post-college?

LIEZEL: I’m hoping to gather more experience in my field, possibly even research, before applying to graduate school. But can’t forget about those loans!


Liezel just finished her Junior year at UCLA, majoring in Linguistics! We wish her well and we’re proud to have her as a member of #TeamBuddytruk!

buddytruk photo contest winner-ucla-ryan salmons-brian foley-cj johnson

CJ Johnson