Ford Motor Co. and its advocacy arm, the Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, have launched a program that seeks to reach out to students attending historically black colleges and universities via a community challenge competition with the reward of up to $75,000 in scholarships and grants.
Conducted in partnership with the Tom Joyner and Rickey Smiley morning shows, the competition encourages students to design community projects that address pressing local needs.
For the first year effort, the program’s theme is “Building Sustainable Communities.” Students are encouraged to creatively address a tangible, unmet community need that touches at least one of four areas: mobility, alternative energy, sustainability/water, and systematic approaches to meeting community essentials.
“This program will allow students to make a difference in their education, schools, and ultimately their communities,” says Shawn Thompson, manager of Ford Multicultural Marketing.
The four teams with the best ideas will be flown to Ford’s world headquarters in Dearborn in December to present their ideas for final judging.
Up to $75,000 in scholarships and university and community grants will be awarded for the first-place student team and its project. (Scholarships will be awarded to the student team, and community grants will be awarded to nonprofits to support implementation of the winning projects.)
The Ford HBCU Community Challenge is an extension of one of the Ford Fund’s signature educational programs, The Ford College Community Challenge. For more information or to enter the competition, visit www.blackamericaweb.com/hbcuchallenge or www.rickeysmileymorningshow.com/hbcuchallenge between now and Nov. 10.