LULAC and Ford Announce $300,000 in Educational Grants and Scholarships

Phoenix, AZ - Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, will award the recipients of the Ford Driving Dreams (FDD) Grants during the 89th Annual LULAC National Convention at the Phoenix Convention Center. Since 2010, Ford Motor Company Fund has teamed up with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) to help combat Latino high school dropout rates, promote educational equity, and provide students the opportunity to pursue post-secondary education across the United States and Puerto Rico.

Ford Fund will award 8 Councils $20,000 each in FDD Grants to implement educational programs over two school years. Two additional grant recipients were selected to receive $10,000 each as a renewal grant to continue their successful programs for an additional school year. The funding supports educational and dropout-prevention programs that encourage students to graduate from high school, as well as provide resources to help them pursue a higher education. Ford Motor Company has also awarded our educational arm, LULAC National Education Scholarship Centers (LNESC) $30,000 in support of scholarships.

The high school graduation rate for Latinos is at an all-time high, with more than 80 percent of students receiving their diplomas, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Despite the decade-long upward climb, Hispanic high school students still have the highest dropout rate of any other ethnic group in the United States.

“Ford Fund is very proud of its collaboration with LULAC. Education is key, and we provide invaluable resources to help the LULAC councils build a bright future for thousands of students in their own communities,” said Joe Avila, manager, community development, U.S. and Latin America, Ford Motor Company Fund. “At Ford we are committed to helping our young people advance in school and reach their academic dreams.”

LULAC councils fund and implement innovative, sustainable education programs that directly serve local communities. Ford Motor Company Fund has invested more than $1.3 million in grants that have helped over 1,750 students and 66 LULAC councils across the country. Each recipient develops a sustainable program that reflects the local education landscape and relies on partnerships with local educational institutions.

“All students, regardless of their economic backgrounds, should be granted equal access to higher learning,” said Sindy Benavides, LULAC Interim CEO & COO. “LULAC understands that education is a catalyst for change and will provide students with the necessary tools to create meaningful impacts in their communities. We applaud Ford Motor Company Fund for the generous contributions they made to ensure our young children succeed in achieving their academic dreams.”

Ford Driving Dreams was created to help students graduate on time and pursue higher education. The program has reached close to 100,000 students in California, Chicago, Indiana, Florida, Mexico, Texas, Panama and Puerto Rico. Ford Driving Dreams initiatives have delivered close to $10 million in educational resources such as scholarships, college preparedness, tutoring programs, parental engagement and motivational activities. 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 or find us on Facebook, Instagram and with #forddrivingdreams on Twitter.

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The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.

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