Ford Driving Dreams Through Education Empowers Latino Students to Graduate; 2012 Winners Announced
Ford Motor Company Fund and the League of United Latin American Citizens announce 2012 Ford Driving Dreams Through Education grant winners
Winning LULAC councils receive grants to implement dropout prevention programs in their communities
Ford Driving Dreams has reached more than 500 students since its launch in 2010
ORLANDO, Fla., June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ford Motor Company Fund and the League of United Latin American Citizens have announced the 2012 Ford Driving Dreams Through Education grantees. The eight winning LULAC councils each receive $20,000 over two years to implement a local dropout prevention program in partnership with an educational entity.
Also, two councils – Council No. 4734 in Temple, Texas, and Council No. 2055 in Salinas, Calif. – were selected from the 2010 recipients to receive an additional $10,000 to continue their programs.
"Ford Driving Dreams Through Education has encouraged more than 500 students to stay in school," said Joedis Avila, community outreach manager, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. "This is the type of program that helps ensure young people have the education they need to compete in the global economy."
According to America's Promise Alliance, a student in the U.S. drops out every 26 seconds. By 2018, only 28 percent of jobs will be available to those with just a high school diploma.
"This program is of great value to the youth who normally would be allowed to fall through the cracks," said Ann Keese, 17, a program participant and summa cum laude graduate of East High School in Victoria, Texas. Keese plans to attend Texas A&M University.
The winning councils will implement programs that uniquely address their local dropout crisis using activities ranging from art and dance to mentoring. This year's winners are:
- Dallas, Texas – Council No. 272
- Elgin, Ill. – Council No. 5236
- Katy, Texas – Council No. 4969
- Mott Haven, N.Y. – Council No. 23016
- Oxnard, Calif. – Council No. 3128
- Queens, N.Y. – Council No. 23047
- Sacramento, Calif. – Council No. 3207
- Silver Spring, Md. – Council No. 21006
Hispanic students are the fastest-growing segment of the public school population and nearly one in five public school students are Hispanic.
"Education is the civil rights issue of our time," said LULAC National Executive Director Brent Wilkes. "The combined effect of nearly 45 percent of Hispanic students failing to complete high school coupled with increasing demographic changes in our population can mean detrimental consequences to our economy.
"In order for the U.S. to compete on the world stage, all Latinos need access to a quality education and must graduate from high school ready to start college or work," Wilkes added.
Ford Driving Dreams Through Education started in 2010. Currently there are 28 grant recipients across the nation working to keep students on the road to graduation. The grant selection process considers the best practices for engaging students, such as mentorship programs, after-school volunteer and extracurricular programs, and parental involvement. In addition, the winning programs must be sustainable, reflect the local education landscape and rely on partnerships with local education institutions.
The eight new LULAC councils will begin implementing their programs this fall and the two model councils will continue their existing programs. For more information on Ford Driving Dreams, visit www.lulac.org/ford.
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 American heritage and community life. The Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 60 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. The award-winning Ford Driving Skills for Life program teaches new drivers through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation in education is encouraged through national programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. Through the Ford Volunteer Corps, more than 25,000 Ford employees and retirees each year work on projects that better their communities in dozens of countries. For more information, visit http://community.ford.com.
About the League of United Latin American Citizens
The League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest and largest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health, housing and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
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