DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The North Texas Ford Dealers and Ford Motor Company Fund announced plans today to deliver more than $800,000 in education programs and awareness this year to prepare students for a stronger future. This brings Ford’s community investment in North Texas to nearly $2 million since the Ford Fund and area Ford dealers launched their unique collaboration in 2013.
The new initiatives focus on promoting reading at an early age and helping students graduate from high school on time, and go to college. This year, scholarships will be available in nearly 100 high schools throughout North Texas.
“We are very excited to continue this program in North Texas,” said Sam Pack, chairman of the North Texas Ford Dealers. “Education is a top priority for Ford and its dealers and we believe this is an excellent opportunity to support student achievement in our communities.”
Today, nationally recognized empowerment speaker Roy Juarez, Jr. whose powerful story was featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Extraordinary Teens, kicked off the program at a pep rally at Moisés E. Molina High School in the Dallas Independent School District. It will be followed by motivational rallies at Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School (Dallas), H. Grady Spruce High School and South Hills High School, both in the Fort Worth Independent School District.
Jim Vella, president of Ford Motor Company Fund, who was also in attendance, said, “Our goal is to accelerate our efforts in innovative ways. By working with our dealers to take a more focused approach in the neighborhoods where we operate, we are building on our previous success to drive a brighter future for our young people.”
Key initiatives that are part of this effort are:
Ford Dealers Scholarship Matching Program
The North Texas Ford Dealers and Ford Motor Company Fund have joined forces to create the North Texas Ford Dealers Scholarship Program to help youth in North Texas achieve a college education. This is a unique collaboration where every dollar invested by Ford dealers has been matched by Ford Motor Company Fund, making it possible to award $350,000 in scholarships to students who live where Ford operates – from Dallas and Farmers Branch to Palestine. Participating dealers will award $2,000 in scholarships to high schools seniors attending schools in their neighborhoods. Nearly 100 high schools will benefit. The program enables Ford dealers to connect with their communities by supporting their local high schools. It also ensures that Ford’s educational efforts are reaching the expansive North Texas community. The scholarships will be administered by Stars on the Rise, an education initiative by the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Students can apply at www.gdhcc.com and the deadline is March 27.
Ford Driving Dreams Tour
For the third consecutive year, Ford Fund will implement the Ford Driving Dreams Tour in North Texas. This program was piloted in North Texas with the Irving Independent School District. It is designed to help Latino youth stay in school and pursue higher education. The program empowers students to plan and develop a road map for their college future through multiple resources. Resources include: financial assistance through scholarships and grants; high energy, student assemblies; and an essay contest in which thousands of students are invited to share their dream. The Tour will be implemented in partnership with Dallas ISD and Fort Worth ISD at Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School, H. Grady Spruce High School, Moisés E. Molina High School, and South Hills High School.
Inspiring the Love of Reading
The ability to read by the third grade determines a child’s future. Yet, research shows that in some of the lowest-income communities, there is only one book per 300 children. For children to become proficient readers, they need ongoing access to quality books and educational resources. With this in mind, Ford is partnering with First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise, to provide 10,000 new books to North Texas elementary school children in need.
North Texas is a Ford Operation Better World market. Operation Better World is designed to increase Ford's philanthropic and community-related commitment in select communities around the world. In North Texas, Ford’s main focus is education, but it also supports other community needs such as hunger relief efforts and teen driver safety. Ford’s local partners include the Dallas Independent School District, the Fort Worth Independent School District, Stars on the Rise, Parents Step Ahead, SER Jobs for Progress, University of Cross Roads and the North Texas Food Bank. Statewide, Ford has invested more than $22 million in community building initiatives since 2000.
For more information, visit www.fordscholars.org/drivingdreams
About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 60 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills for Life teaches new drivers through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation in education is encouraged through programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. Through Ford Volunteer Corps, more than 25,000 Ford employees and retirees each year work on projects that better their communities in 30 countries. For more information, visit http://community.ford.com.
For news releases, related materials and high-resolution photos and video, visit www.media.ford.com.