FORD Awards $170,000 in Educational Scholarships to Hispanic High School Students
Ford Motor Company’s 10 th Annual Spirit of Accomplishment Scholastic Achievement Award essay contest awarded 80 high school seniors in Hispanic communities a total of $170,000 in educational scholarships.
The 80 winners each received a $2,000 scholarship. The top scoring entry, Hector Neira of Silver Spring, Maryland received an additional $10,000 scholarship. Over the past 10 years, Ford has awarded more than $1.4 million in scholarship funds to more than 770 Hispanic students nationwide. A complete list of the 2006 winners can be found on www.fordenespanol.com.
DEARBORN, Mich. Ford Motor Company awarded 80 high school seniors in Hispanic communities nationwide a total of $170,000 in educational scholarships through the 10 th Annual Ford Spirit of Accomplishment Scholastic Achievement Award held on Ford’s Hispanic website www.fordenespanol.com . This year, over 7,000 unique visitors viewed the website to obtain information about the program. To participate in the scholarship contest, high school seniors were required to have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better and submit a 300-word essay on the following topic: Student bodies at Universities across the nation are increasingly becoming more diverse. In order to facilitate the transition for students of different ethnicities, what plan would you implement that encourages cultural diversity on campus?
“Over the past 10 years, Ford has recognized the strong presence of young adults within the higher education system and would like to continue to support the goal of inspiring and encouraging students to follow their dreams,” said John Felice, General Marketing Manager. “Education is an essential element for a successful future and Ford is committed to empowering young adults in their pursuit of higher education.” A panel of independent judges consisting of teachers and community leaders from across the country judged all essay submissions. Essays were scored based on originality, relevance to theme, grammar and clarity. Ford called upon several professors from distinguished universities to help select the 80 winners. Each applicant selected received $2,000 in scholarships towards the pursuit of a higher education after high school. This year’s grand prize winner was Hector Neira, a senior at Paint Branch High School in Silver Spring, Maryland who immigrated with his family to the United States in 2000 from Bogotá, Colombia. Neira received the highest score of the 80 semi-finalists on his essay discussing a threefold plan to encourage cultural diversity, unity, and open-mindedness throughout campuses by creating murals, commemorative plaques and multi-cultural forums. Neira was awarded $10,000 in addition to the $2,000 received as a semi-finalist. In the fall, Neira will attend the University of Maryland at College Park where he was accepted into the honors program and plans to apply his love of math and science by pursuing a career in Engineering.
“I really appreciate the scholarship Ford Motor Company has given me,” says Hector Neira when given the news of being the top scoring entry. “Scholarship programs like the Ford Spirit of Accomplishment Scholastic Achievement Award allow the opportunity for kids like me to turn the unimaginable into reality by giving us the extra encouragement and opportunity to pursue higher education.” The 2006 judges include Dr. Genaro Padilla, Vice Chancellor of Undergraduate Affairs at University of California at Berkeley; Dr. Pedro Noguera, Professor of Teaching and Learning at New York University; and Dr. Maria Rosa Olivera-Williams, Associate Professor at the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame.
Over the past 10 years, Ford has awarded more than $1.4 million in scholarship funds to more than 770 Hispanic students nationwide. The Spirit of Accomplishment Scholastic contest began as part of Ford’s ongoing commitment to support the Hispanic community. The scholarship contest was founded with the goal of assisting and encouraging Hispanic young adults to pursue higher education after high school graduation.