2012 Ford Driving Dreams Through Education Grantees

In 2012, LULAC and the Ford Motor Company Fund selected eight new LULAC Councils to receive the coveted Ford Driving Dreams Through Education grant. Through the grant, LULAC Councils will implement unique and innovative education programs to serve their communities.

In addition to identifying eight new grantee sites for 2012, LULAC and the Ford Motor Company Fund extended the programs of two 2010 sites found to have exemplified best practices and been most impactful for their communities. The two 2010 sites selected were LULAC Council 4734 in Temple, TX and LULAC Council 2055 in Salinas, CA.

Learn more about the amazing education programs being implemented in a community near you! LULAC encourages you to get connected to a program in your area or follow their trajectory through LULAC’s Facebook page: The League of United Latin American Citizens.

For more information contact: Elena Segura, Education Program Coordinator, ESegura@LULAC.org

2012 Ford Driving Dreams Grantee Recipients


Oxnard – LULAC Council #3128
The LULAC/KEYS Leadership Academy is a successful and well-recognized program that has helped more than 1,200 youth to enroll in college. They will augment their programming for 120 Latino youth and their families to prepare them for college, help build leadership skills, teach financial awareness, expose them to career exploration and civic involvement, and build self-confidence. The services will be provided by certified and professional teachers, professors and educators on a part-time and volunteer basis, including past KEYS participants who also serve as mentors.

Sacramento – LULAC Council #3207
The ICA Community Learning Project will address the dropout rate of Latino youth in the Twin Rivers School District. Aimed to fill the void of after school extra-curricular activities available in California, this weekly after-school program will expose 20 at-risk 10th and 11th grade students to art, music and dance classes. They will also participate in educational activities such as field trips and speaker presentations centered on career development.

Salinas – LULAC Council #2055 (2010 model program)
Twenty, ninth- and 10th-grade students at Alisal High School will participate in Triple M Mentor, which pairs students with college student mentors. These mentors will meet with the students weekly and tutor them in small groups. The program also offers workshops aimed to increase motivation to succeed, bolster self-esteem, address cultural assets, and tutoring. The workshop speakers will include program directors and key staff from the local community college and area college campuses. The students will participate in the program until they graduate from high school.


Elgin (Chicago) – LULAC Council #5236
The Adelante con STEM program is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program for at-risk Latinas in Larsen Middle School and freshmen in Elgin High School. Through this program, 15 middle school and 15 high school freshmen will work with a mentor from Judson University, community members, or middle and high school teachers from Elgin School District U-46. They will learn about team building and have the opportunity to bond with their peers and teachers through leadership camps. Monthly “lunch touchback” sessions will provide a reoccurring reminder that someone cares. Besides learning about STEM, the students will also participate in science experiments and technology workshops. They will also have access to career exploration and college prep sessions. Seminars for parents will provide valuable information about parenting, the benefits of college, and financial information.


Silver Spring – LULAC Council #21006
LULAC and GapBuster, a volunteer-based program that has helped more than 2,000 students locally reach their academic dreams, will expand their Leaders-in-Training (LIT) program to include 30 Hispanic ninth-grade students. The LIT program supplements the academic needs of at-risk and/or potential gang involved minorities through a LifeSkills curriculum. This research-validated substance abuse prevention program reduces the risk of alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse. They will also offer academic support in math and language arts through twice weekly two-hour academic tutoring. Volunteers from the University of Maryland and the Department of Agriculture offices will mentor students for a weekly one-hour session. The students will also participate in at least four college tours, several enriching field trips, and four community service events.


Mott Haven (South Bronx) – LULAC Council #23016
This council will work with the Urban Assemblies for Careers in Sports High School to pilot an “Appreciative Inquiry” program for 9th graders in the Urban Assembly School for Careers in Sports, a NYC Board of Education High School that infuses education with the energy and enthusiasm that sports inspire in many youth. Teaching rigorous college preparatory discipline and skills necessary to succeed in careers such as marketing, management, law, medicine, journalism, and broadcasting will be a focus. Appreciate Inquiry is a philosophy that helps participants become more self-aware while understanding and appreciating the positive in others. They participate in activities that help them understand how their background has shaped who they are and how to look for the good in their community, peers, and environment.

Queens – LULAC Council #23047
This after-school program will enforce Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) through educational workshops focused on the use of technology and art. The council will partner with Fluid New Media Labs, a New York City-based project that is part of a not-for-profit organization supporting, producing, and promoting creative works in collaboration with multimedia artists and a participatory audience. Students will learn about STEM through activities that use digital media, which will get students engaged in high school activities. Leadership workshops, field trips to museums and area colleges, career exploration opportunities, and incentives for students will enhance the program. They will also organize parental involvement workshops to help parents strategize for their children’s college education.


Dallas – LULAC Council #272
ONDA-2012 is a weekly, after-school tutoring/mentoring program where members of the Bilingual Education Student Organization and LULAC Young Adult councils at the University of North Texas at Dallas (UNT-D) will help 20-30 ESL/LEP students attending Sunset High School with English proficiency. Students will participate in a series of monthly Saturday morning leadership sessions on the UNT-D campus where they will learn about their cultural heritage, personal leadership styles and their role and responsibility for personal and community development. The program will culminate with a conference produced by the participating students called “Emerging Bilingual Student.” The students will share what they have learned and will challenge other campuses to develop a similar program at their respective campuses.

Katy (Houston) – LULAC Council #4969
This mentorship program will pair 50 volunteers with 50 students from the Katy Independent School District. The mentors will meet with their assigned students for a minimum of 6 hours per month. The students will also have the opportunity to receive a minimum of 6 hours per month of tutoring after school or on Saturdays in the core academic subjects where they are struggling (getting a C or lower). Four field trips will expose the participants to the arts, different cultural events and a range of college or career-prep opportunities. To facilitate parental involvement, the program will develop a list of online resources and activities that address social issues, researching higher education, and scholarships, financial aid, financial literacy and citizenship. Volunteers will make monthly contact with parents to discuss the progress of the program and students. The students will also be required to plan a community service activity.

Temple – LULAC Council #4969 (2010 model program)
The program offers music lessons and academic tutoring to ninth-grade Hispanic students at Temple High School. A music student and a professional mariachi instructor provide weekly music lessons to the students. In addition, LULAC Youth Council members who are Temple College students provide weekly tutoring and mentorship to students during the student’s work study or lunch period. An experienced social worker tracks each student’s success. In addition, the students will receive mariachi costumes as an incentive for remaining in the program.