Ford Motor Company Fund to Launch Educational Initiative and Benefit 5,000 Students in Los Angeles, CA

Ford Motor Company Fund to Launch Educational Initiative and Benefit 5,000 Students in Los Angeles, CA

  • For the first time, the Ford Driving Dreams Tour will launch in Los Angeles to benefit 5,000 high school students with scholarships, educational resources, and motivational activities
  • Ford Fund has invested $4.5 million in Los Angeles to provide educational resources, and promote on-time graduation and the pursuit of higher education
  • Ford Driving Dreams Tour to start at James A. Garfield High School with high-energy pep rally featuring cheerleading squads, school band, and motivational speakers

LOS ANGELES, CA. Oct. 25, 2016 – Ford Motor Company Fund will launch the Ford Driving Dreams Tour in Los Angeles, California, today. The Ford Driving Dreams Tour is designed to provide educational resources and scholarships to help students graduate on time and pursue higher education. Ford Fund’s efforts in Los Angeles are part of a long-term investment of $4.5 million for educational resources. Ford Motor Company Fund is the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company.

“Education is a priority for Ford. With the launch of the Ford Driving Dreams Tour in Los Angeles, we will be able to benefit thousands of students by providing them with the tools and resources they need to help them excel in school, graduate on time, and achieve their dream of going to college,” said Joe Avila, community outreach manager, Ford Motor Company Fund.

The Ford Driving Dreams Tour will be held at three high schools in Los Angeles. The inaugural kick-off begins with 1,300 students at James A. Garfield Senior High School who will be greeted by a high energy pep rally by the school’s band and cheerleaders. Motivational speaker Alex Montoya will share his story of perseverance and overcoming challenges to achieve success despite being a triple amputee. Montoya was an Olympic Torch carrier in 1996 and has appeared in the major-motion films Artificial Intelligence and Minority Report.

“It is truly an uplifting opportunity to collaborate with Ford Motor Company Fund and kick off the Ford Driving Dreams Tour in our school. The inspiration and motivation the tour will bring to our students in Los Angeles is greatly needed, and I know they will appreciate the experience,” said Mario Cantu, principal, James A. Garfield Senior High School.

Huntington Park High School and Roosevelt High School will also be a part of the Tour. Students from the three high schools who are part of the Ford Driving Dreams Tour will be invited to participate in the “What Drives your Dream?” essay contest and compete to win technology prizes and scholarships. The top essays will be selected by a panel of educators from each school. The essay contest reinforces the importance of education, while pursuing a dream and giving back to the community. Furthermore, the contest is intended to serve as a tool for college readiness by connecting their high school writing assignments to their essay required for college applications.

The Ford Driving Dreams Tour is being coordinated with the Los Angeles Unified School District and the nonprofit organization U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI). The scholarships will be administered by USHLI. Fifteen students, five at each school, will each receive a $2,000 Ford Blue Oval Scholarship. The scholarship winners will be announced in the spring of 2017.

Launched in 2012, the program has reached more than 75,000 students in Chicago, Indiana, Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, and last year expanded internationally to Panama. Ford Driving Dreams initiatives, including the Tour, have delivered more than $10 million in educational resources such as scholarships, college preparedness, tutoring programs, parental engagement, and motivational activities.

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. Follow us @fordfund_ on Twitter and @FordDrivingDreams on Instagram, like us on Facebook Ford Fund and use #forddrivingdreams to be part of the conversation.