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Ford Media Center
SAN JOSE, Calif. April 27, 2016 – Ford Motor Company Fund and Northern California Ford Dealers are wrapping up the school year by awarding over $65,000 in Ford Driving Dreams scholarships and technology prizes to 87 Northern California students from high schools and, for the first time, middle schools located in the communities where Ford operates. Video b-roll is available here.
Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, announced and celebrated the scholarship winners at a special event with parents, educators, and community leaders. Nearly 80 percent of the scholarship recipients plan to pursue a degree in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and the majority will attend universities in California. According to a study by STEM Connector, Where are the STEM Students? California ranks first as the state projected to have the most STEM jobs in the country by 2018.
“The Northern California Ford Dealers want to give back to their communities and by working jointly with Ford Fund, we are able to help our young people reach their academic dreams and achieve a brighter future,” said Joe Ávila, community outreach manager, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Connecting with our local schools has been amazing and it feels great to close the school year knowing that Ford will make a college education more accessible for many students.”
The scholarship recipients and essay contest winners come from the following schools: Andrew Hill High School, James Lick High School, William C. Overfelt High School, Yerba Buena High School as well as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley, Fresno County, Marin and Southern Sonoma Counties, Monterey County, and Greater Sacramento.
Third place essay contest winner Bridgette Magaña shared that it is her dream “to help the children who live in my community have a life that they can be proud of so that one day they will want to help other people in their community and improve it in ways that most wouldn’t be able to believe.” Magaña is a senior at William C. Overfelt High School in San Jose.
The scholarships are part of Ford’s overall education efforts launched in Northern California last year. The Tour, which focuses on motivating students to complete high school on time and pursue higher education, impacted 5,000 students. The scholarships were administered by the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI), a national nonprofit organization that works to empower the Latino community and promote education, leadership development, and unity.
The Ford Driving Dreams Tour was designed by Ford Motor Company Fund to help Latino youth graduate on time and pursue higher education. Launched in 2012, the program has reached more than 30,000 students in Chicago, Indiana, Florida, Texas, and, most recently, Panama. Ford Driving Dreams initiatives, including the Tour, have delivered more than $3 million in educational resources such as scholarships, college preparedness, tutoring programs, parental engagement, and motivational activities.
In 2015, a $1 million investment in Northern California includes education and community programs. This investment is part of Ford Fund’s Operation Better World initiative. Launched in 2008, the Operation Better World framework enables Ford Fund dealers and other groups to collaborate on a strategic approach to philanthropy and more effectively meet community needs. Ford’s latest investments in Northern California brings the total community investment amount to more than $4.5 million over the last 10 years.
Ford Motor Company Fund invests more than $10 million a year in scholarships and other education initiatives. In addition to Ford Driving Dreams, Ford Fund educational programs include Ford Blue Oval Scholars, Ford Next Generation Learning, Ford College Community Challenge, and the Ford STEAM Lab. For more information, visit www.forddrivingdreams.com.
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community and global partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 65 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills for Life is free, interactive, hands-on safety training focused on skill development and driving techniques, while addressing inexperience, distractions and impaired driving. Innovation in education is encouraged through Ford Blue Oval Scholars, Ford Driving Dreams, Ford Next Generation Learning and other innovative programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. The Ford Volunteer Corps enlists more than 30,000 Ford employees and retirees each year to work on local projects that strengthen their communities and improve people’s lives countries around the world. For more information, visit www.community.ford.com.