Ford Motor Company Fund goes to school

Innovative education programs, new investments this year
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  • Dearborn, Mich. — Automotive design can stir a person’s deepest passion. Rami Khoury knows the feeling. So does Konnor Bartels. They are two of the first five winners of the William Clay Ford Automotive Design Scholarship, honoring Mr. Ford’s legacy of design innovation and leadership.

    “I look at the automobile as a rolling sculpture on wheels,” said Khoury, a student at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. “All of these shapes and forms that move on the street, and yet carry people to their destinations. It has both form and function.”

    Bartels, a student at Cleveland Institute of Art, has always liked creating designs and bringing them to life. “Design fuels my passion and desire to create,” he said. “I am excited by the collaboration, the creation, the story and the user.”

    The $1 million William Clay Ford Automotive Design Scholarship, honoring William Clay Ford’s outstanding contributions to automotive design, will award $10,000 to five outstanding college sophomores or juniors each year for 20 years. It’s one of several new initiatives Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, is launching to accelerate its commitment to helping young people reach their potential.

    All told, Ford Fund is investing more than $1.7 million in new and ongoing global educational programs, part of more than $8 million annually in scholarships, grants and other initiatives that offer promising students the opportunity to follow their career dreams and hone essential workplace skills. Ford Fund also is focused on helping vulnerable students stay in school and graduate, keeping them on track for future success.

    In addition to continuing signature education programs such as Ford Blue Oval Network, Ford Next Generation Learning and Ford Freedom Award, Ford Fund’s educational investments getting underway include:

    Alan Mulally Engineering Scholarship
    Ford created the new Alan Mulally Leadership in Engineering Scholarship to develop engineering talent. The global $1 million program, which starts this fall, awards 10 scholarships for $10,000 each to outstanding engineering students at 10 partner universities.

    Ford College Alliance
    FCA will provide $500,000 in scholarships to engineering, IT and business students at select universities, plus $150,000 in university vehicle team funding and $50,000 in school grants.

    Ford Driving Dreams
    Ford Driving Dreams recently launched in Panama and will soon be underway in Arkansas, California, Illinois, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin to help Latino youth graduate from high school on time and pursue higher education. The Ford Driving Dreams initiatives include drop-out prevention grants, book donations and a motivational tour featuring pep rallies, scholarships, and contests that are investing $520,000 in local communities. By the end of this school year, Ford Driving Dreams will have reached more than 40,000 students in more than 40 markets and will have delivered more than $3 million in educational resources since 2010.

    Ford College Community Challenge
    This global competition encourages college students to put their knowledge and creativity to work by taking the lead in developing projects around the theme of building sustainable communities. Ford C3 has launched in Brazil, China and the United States. New this year are Ford C3 grants in Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and South Africa. Ford is also making grants to Tribal Colleges and Universities in the Native American community in the U.S. for the first time. Ford’s investment in C3 grants and supporting programs is $450,000.

    Heart Behind the Oval
    College students and high school seniors in the Ford Blue Oval Network are asked to propose a project with a local nonprofit that addresses Building a Brighter Future. Students and their non-profit partners have the opportunity to earn $10,000 in support.

    Henry Ford believed deeply that education was the key to success and he acted by founding schools and developing other learning opportunities that helped benefit generations of people and their communities. Today, education remains a pillar of Ford Fund’s efforts to create a better world through innovative programs and strategic investments aimed at the next generation of innovators and world leaders.

    “The tools have changed dramatically since Henry Ford’s day but the goals are the same—teach young people the essential skills they will need to succeed in the workplace,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “Education is a critical ingredient in determining individual and community economic success, and Ford Fund is always looking ahead for new ways to help.”