Ford Motor Company Fund Provides More Than $280,000 for Programs Supporting Youth in Detroit

  • Ford Fund presents Detroit Mayor Dave Bing with a $250,000 grant on behalf of the Youth Employment Program
  • $34,000 provided in scholarships and essay contest awards

Ford Freedom Awards

DEARBORN, Mich., May 17, 2012 – In recognition of the importance of supporting youth in the Detroit community, Ford Motor Company Fund is announcing more than $280,000 in grants and other support to benefit young people.

The grants will support youth through a variety of programs:

  • $250,000 to the city’s Youth Employment Program, which provides summer employment opportunities for Detroit youth to support their future success. The grant will fund 250 jobs this summer
  • $10,000 in savings bonds for the five winners of the Ford Freedom Award essay contest. The winning essays were selected from more than 1,900 entries submitted by students
  • $24,000 scholarship to a Detroit high school student as part of the Ford-Detroit Free Press Journalism Program

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing accepted the $250,000 grant on behalf of the Youth Employment Program during the Ford Freedom Award event. “Today’s announcement comes at a time when teen unemployment in cities like Detroit is at its highest level in decades,” Bing said. “Ford is to be congratulated for its ongoing commitment to the youth in the city of Detroit.”

The summer Youth Employment Program is a six-week program offering work experience for youth ages 14 to 21. The program includes work-readiness training and hands-on job experience designed to prepare youth for the real world of work.

The annual Ford Freedom Award includes an essay contest that awards a total of $10,000 in savings bonds to five winners. More than 1,900 elementary and middle school students submitted essays on their dream team of three people for a dream project to help their community.

“Ford Motor Company has been committed to investing in the youth of our community for more than a century,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “Our commitment has been unwavering.”

Earlier this week Ford Motor Company Fund recognized Detroit high school journalism students as part of the culmination of a yearlong program sponsored by Ford and the Detroit Free Press. Detroit Renaissance High School senior Omari Sankofa II was awarded a $24,000 scholarship.