High School Students Compete for Scholarship and Grant for After-School Program through Online Contest

- First place winner from each Irving ISD high school competing for $5,000 scholarship and $3,000 for after-school program of choice.

- Winner selected based on essay describing what drives their dream.

- The public can vote at www.fordscholars.org/drivingdreams through February 21.

IRVING, Texas, Jan. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ford Motor Company Fund and Irving Independent School District has launched the online voting for the "What Drives Your Dream Contest?" which is part of the Ford Driving Dreams Tour. The contest will run through Feb. 21. The winner, who will be selected by public online vote, will receive a $5,000 scholarship and $3,000 for the student's after-school program of choice.

Last fall, Irving ISD high school students wrote essays describing what drives their dream. Each high school selected the top five essays. An external independent panel of educators and local community leaders then chose first, second and third place winners from each school. The students received their prizes during school visits from members of the selection committee and Ford Motor Company Fund.

The first prize finalists won an Apple MacBook Pro and a video camera, and have moved on to a public online voting competition. The five first place finalists, their respective schools and the after-school program of their choice are as follows:

  • Chelsea Myatt, Barbara Cardwell Career Preparatory Center, JOURNEYS
  • Alexandria Martinez, Irving High School, Tiger Fever School Spirit Club
  • Raul A. Gonzalez, MacArthur High School, KMAC Club
  • Rachel Van Pamel, Nimitz High School, Theatre/Nimitz Drama Club
  • Amanda Jackson, Jack E. Singley Academy, UIL Speech Club

"We could not be prouder of our students," said Dr. Dana Bedden, superintendent of schools, Irving ISD. "All of the participants of this essay contest shared compelling stories about their future dreams and what motivates them to achieve their goal."

The second place winners, who received an iPad and a $300 gift certificate, are:  Christian Rodriguez (Barbara Cardwell Career Preparatory Center), Brittani Monk (Irving High School), Alexandra Odinio (MacArthur High School), Sarah Lane (Nimitz High School), and Jennifer Consuelo (Jack E. Singley Academy).

Third place winners received a $500 gift certificate. They are Martin Gonzales (Barbara Cardwell Career Preparatory Center), Zach Hughes (Irving High School), Jocelyn Zuniga (MacArthur High School), Erica Vanegas (Nimitz High School), and Triza Nganga (Jack E. Singley Academy). 

"We are excited to see the level of participation from Irving ISD students and are impressed with the students' determination to achieve their dreams," said Joedis Avila, community outreach manager, Ford Motor Company Fund. "Ford has a longstanding commitment to education, and we are thrilled to be playing a role in engaging youth about the importance of education with Irving ISD."

Last fall, Ford Motor Company Fund launched a year-long education initiative to promote on-time high school graduation and college enrollment in partnership with Irving Independent School District. The Ford Driving Dreams Tour provides peer-to-peer support programs, scholarships, motivational pep rallies and the "What Drives Your Dream" contest. Ford also provided a $35,000 donation to Irving ISD towards the purchase of two Ford Explorers for transport of students and staff to district-authorized functions.

For more information on the FDD Tour and the "What Drives Your Dream" contest, please visit fordscholars.org/drivingdreams and irvingisd.net.

About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services 
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. The Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 60 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. The award-winning Ford Driving Skills for Life program teaches new drivers through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation in education is encouraged through national programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. Through the Ford Volunteer Corps, more than 25,000 Ford employees and retirees each year work on projects that better their communities in more than 20 countries. For more information, visit http://community.ford.com.

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SOURCE Ford Motor Company Fund



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