Ford Fund Invests in Students, Communities Through the Ford College Community Challenge
As a sponsor of the Net Impact Conference which begins in just two days, we invited Ford to share all about how their philanthropic arm, Ford Motor Company Fund, has been helping people reach their full potential for 70 years. The fund continually invests in programs that support education, promote safe driving, enrich community life, and encourage employee volunteering. Read all the way to the bottom to find out how you can take part in their programs.
Education is the foundation for success. It is key to making lives better, creating social change, and building sustainable communities. Ford Motor Company Fund invests more than $16 million annually to support educational programs that people and communities use to facilitate and inspire. At the Ford Fund, we believe that the best way to learn is by doing -- taking classroom and book knowledge, and applying it in the real world. These beliefs and values are demonstrated in our signature educational programs, including the Ford College Community Challenge.
For over a decade, the Ford College Community Challenge has awarded grants to student-led projects and social enterprises aimed at meeting community needs. In 2018, the EARTH University chapter of Net Impact was selected as a grant winner for their Costa Rican project, Dirt to Power Initiative (DPI).
DPI is a project committed to educating the local community, particularly women and children, about sustainable approaches to food production. The program not only promotes food security, but also encourages community engagement with open recreation spaces. Through DPI, the public can learn how to use locally available-food waste materials to build sustainable gardens that nourish body and soul. The recreation space is a charming park built of discarded items that demonstrates beauty and sustainability.
As the cost of food staples rise, malnutrition, hunger and starvation increase. DPI is set on a 36-month timeline with the first year encompassing design and construction. Community engagement begins in year two, followed by international tours and promotion. The grant encourages students to flourish while scaling their efforts, in the hopes that they can achieve a more transformational impact in the communities where they work and live.
The students involved in the DPI initiative are just one example of how Ford Fund is working with students to strengthen communities and make people’s lives better. To find out more about the Ford College Community Challenge visit www.fordfund.org. The 2020 Ford College Community Challenge will launch on the website in March.