DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Armed with four unique proposals and an infectious passion for building a sustainable community, student team finalists from Fayetteville State University, Howard University, Huston-Tillotson University and Tuskegee University descended on Ford World Headquarters last week to present their projects to a panel of judges, which included radio personality Tom Joyner, in the first Ford HBCU Community Challenge Competition.
After an intense afternoon of presentations, Huston-Tillotson University, located in Austin, Texas, was named winner of the Ford HBCU Community Challenge Competition. The student project, in partnership with Blackshear Elementary School, is focused on transforming a 33-square-foot dumpster into a fully functioning home complete with running water, toilet, shower, bed and solar-generated electricity. The project aims to promote living practices that encourage sustainability.
The Ford HBCU Community Challenge Competition is an extension of one of Ford Fund's signature educational programs, The Ford College Community Challenge. The new program, with the theme "Building Sustainable Communities," was conducted in partnership with the Tom Joyner and Rickey Smiley morning shows, and encouraged HBCU students to design projects that address pressing local community needs.
Students were encouraged to creatively address a tangible, unmet community need that touched on at least one of these four areas – mobility, alternative energy, sustainability/water and a systematic approach to meeting community needs. Scholarships will be awarded to the Huston-Tillotson University team, and community grants will be awarded to nonprofits to support implementation of the winning project.
"Having the opportunity to both meet these students and listen to them present projects to help us strengthen our communities has been both refreshing and encouraging," said Shawn Thompson, manager, Ford multicultural marketing. "In the end, this program has allowed us to make an impact in the students' education, their schools and their communities."
Each finalist team also received funds to support the implementation of its ideas within its community, in addition to iPads for each student member.
"All of these students and their proposals were phenomenal," said Pamela Alexander, director, community development, Ford Motor Company Fund. "The process of narrowing the submissions down to just four was tough, so you can imagine how difficult it was to pick the winner."
"We look forward to seeing these projects blossom and impact communities," Alexander added.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 180,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.
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. Ford Driving Skills for Life teaches new drivers through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation in education is encouraged through 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 30 countries. For more information, visit http://community.ford.com.
SOURCE Ford Motor Company