Ford Motor Company Fund announced Vanzell Dupont of Miami Jackson Senior High School as the winner of the “What Drives Your Dream?” contest, part of the Ford Driving Dreams Tour. Dupont will receive a $5,000 scholarship, and a $4,000 grant will be awarded to academic programs serving members of his school’s football team.
“I’m so grateful to my family, friends and fellow students who voted for me,” said Dupont. “The scholarship will help me realize my dream of going to college and becoming a psychologist so I can dedicate my life to helping others.”
Ford Driving Dreams Tour is one of several community initiatives and partnerships supported by Ford Motor Company Fund. Ford Fund has invested about $1 million with Miami-based organizations during the past three years alone.
Dupont was selected by the public, with nearly 3,000 online votes cast. The three other student finalists competing in the video contest were:
Liurys Alvarez – Booker T. Washington Senior High School
Nicole Johnson – Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School
Yulonda Richards – Miami Senior High School
“On behalf of our school, alumni and community, I congratulate Vanzell for winning the ‘What Drives Your Dream?’ contest,” said Carlos Rios, principal, Miami Jackson Senior High School. “He is very deserving. We are proud of all of our students who submitted essays describing their dreams. This program has been a wonderful experience for our school.”
“We are delighted to support Vanzell and his chosen school program as part of the Ford Driving Dreams Tour,” said Joe Avila, community outreach manager, Ford Motor Company Fund. “This initiative is an exciting addition to our investment in public education, which dates back more than 60 years as a top priority at Ford Fund.”
Students from the participating high schools also can apply for a Ford scholarship at chci.org. The deadline to apply is April 16.
More than 1,000 students from four Miami-Dade County Public Schools participated in the contest and wrote essays describing what drives their dream. The essays were evaluated by an external panel of educators and community leaders. The first-place winner from each school competed in the online video contest.
Last fall, Ford Fund partnered with the Cuban American Council, ASPIRA of Florida and Miami-Dade County Public Schools to bring the Driving Dreams Tour to Miami. The program supports on-time high school graduation and college enrollment at schools with significant Latino student populations through scholarships, motivational student assemblies, contests, and leadership and academic encouragement.
Since its 2012 launch, the tour has visited 15 high schools in Florida and Texas and a total of nearly 25,000 students. For more information on the Ford Driving Dreams Tour and the “What Drives Your Dream?” contest, visit www.fordscholars.org/drivingdreams.
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 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.