Mattress Firm Announces Recipients of $10,000 Inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Scholarships

Houston, TX (November 12, 2021) — Mattress Firm, the nation’s largest mattress specialty retailer, announced the recipients of its inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion scholarships. Mattress Firm established the needs-based scholarship to make higher education more accessible for minorities and underrepresented groups.

The company invited rising high school, college-bound seniors, and undergraduate students who were planning to attend or currently enrolled in a college or university in its hometown of Houston, Texas, to apply. Applicants were also required to have a minimum 3.0 grade point average, demonstrate a commitment to issues of diversity, equity and/or inclusion through extracurricular and/or community activities, submit a 250-word essay and meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • be a member of a traditionally underrepresented group such as black or African American, American Indian or Native American, Hispanic or Latino
  • underserved as indicated by qualifying for free or reduced lunch
  • a first-generation college student

This year’s recipients, Erika Villanueva and Kadie Kakay, who are both planning to attend the University of Houston, will each be awarded a $10,000 scholarship for fall 2022. Both students exemplify a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in their everyday lives.

Erika is a first-generation college student. She’s also an AVID tutor, which is a program centered around education and opportunities for minority students. “As a middle school tutor, I serve as a role model for low-income students who may think they do not have the resources to achieve their goals,” said Erica.

Kadie is a member of her school’s African Student Association, a group that focuses on creating a space of inclusion for African students while promoting and sharing their culture with others. “Everywhere I go, I aim to implement aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion, so that everyone, especially people like me, can be proud of who they are,” said Kadie.

“At Mattress Firm, we are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. One of our core values is promote inclusion and we look to integrate it into everything we do internally with our people and externally in how we interact with our customers and engage in our local communities,” said Brianna Pina, Mattress Firm’s Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “We are committed to serving underrepresented groups in our community. Through these scholarships, our goal is to make higher education more accessible for young adults who may be experiencing adversity.”

The company plans to offer the scholarship annually and will begin accepting applicants in the summer of 2022. Additional details on timing and how to apply will be shared next year.


About Mattress Firm

For the past 90 years, Mattress Firm has made it easy to get a great night’s sleep by providing our customers an expertly curated collection of quality mattresses from the best brands. Today, with more than 2,300 neighborhood stores, we strive to match every customer with their perfect mattress at the perfect price. Our Sleep Experts™ help more than 3 million people a year find the right solution for their sleep needs. Our selection of mattresses and bedding accessories include leading brands such as Beautyrest®, Nectar®, Sealy®, Serta®, Simmons®, Sleepy’s® Stearns & Foster®, Tempur-Pedic®, Tuft & Needle®, tulo®, and Purple®. We also offer customers as a go-to resource for learning how to sleep better and feel better. Committed to serving our communities, the Mattress Firm Foster Kids program, in partnership with the Ticket to Dream Foundation, joined forces with local foster care non-profit partners to help children in foster care get better sleep so they can shape a better future. For more information, visit


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Brittany Bivens