Latino Traffic Report has learned that the Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, named the recipients of the Ford Driving Dreams (FDD) Grants at the 87th Annual LULAC Convention in Washington, DC. A total of $400,000 in scholarships and grants will be awarded to 10 Councils and LULAC National Educational Service Centers, Inc. (LNESC) to support programs that encourage Latino students to graduate from high school, and provide resources to help them pursue a higher education. Ten Councils will receive $180,000 in FDD Grants to implement dropout prevention programs. Through LNESC, $220,000 in scholarships have been awarded to Hispanic students in San Antonio, Houston, and Puerto Rico.
Currently, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the high school graduation rate for Latinos is at an all-time high at 71 percent, a 10 percent increase from 2006. Yet, the Hispanic dropout rate is 10.6 percent, higher than the national dropout rate of 6.5 percent
Ford Motor Company Fund will award eight LULAC Councils a $20,000 grant over two school years to implement high school dropout prevention programs in collaboration with a local educational entity. The eight grant recipients that will implement their programs this fall are:
- LULAC Council #4609 Arlington, VA
- LULAC Council #7 Laredo, TX
- LULAC Council #333 Milwaukee, WI
- LULAC Council #40002 Portland, OR
- LULAC Council #754 Rogers, AR
- LULAC Council #15164 Toa Alta, PR
- LULAC Council #11125 Washington, DC
- LULAC Council #5273 Waukegan, IL
As a result of their success in 2014, LULAC Council #2848, Anaheim, Calif., and LULAC Council #44040, Provo, Utah, were selected to each receive a $10,000 grant from Ford Motor Company Fund to continue their programs for an additional school year. These model Councils will continue the programs that uniquely promote on-time high school graduation through student engagement activities such as mentoring and academic support.
“We are very proud of our work with LULAC, because together we are able to provide the resources to help the Councils build brighter educational futures for thousands of students in their own communities,” said Joe Avila, community outreach manager, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Education has long been a priority for Ford, and we are committed to helping our youth acquire the tools they need for future success.”
“Helping young people succeed is a constant effort we have made possible in association with Ford Motor Company Fund so students can graduate high school on time and pursue a college education. Today we celebrate and recognize the work of the Councils who are making sure that their communities are being empowered through academic excellence,” said Brent Wilkes, national executive director of LULAC.
Ford Driving Dreams Grants has invested more than $1.3 million since its launch in 2010. More than 1,500 students and 60 Councils have been able to leverage their success across the country. LULAC Council #21006 in Silver Spring, Maryland, used the $20,000 FDD grant awarded in 2014 to implement a program to help Latino students achieve their academic dreams with GapBuster, Inc., their educational partner.
One student is Luis Rosales, who, with 37 other students in the program, successfully graduated high school on time. Rosales recently graduated with honors from Montgomery Community College and this fall will attend Georgetown University School of Business on a full scholarship. Rosales and the FDD students started the first LULAC Youth Council in Maryland and is now a board member of GapBuster, Inc.
Each FDD grant recipient will develop a sustainable program that reflect the local education landscape and relies on partnerships with local education institutions. For more information on the Ford Driving Dreams Grants, visit www.lulac.org/ford
Ford Motor Company Fund, invests more than $10 million a year in scholarships and other education initiatives across the country. In addition to Ford Driving Dreams, other 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.