Thursday, December 12, 2013

Huston-Tillotson University Students Win Ford HBCU Community Challenge Competition


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Huston-Tillotson University student team with HBCU community challenge judges

Huston-Tillotson University team wins $75,000 in scholarships, university and community grants

DEARBORN, MI – 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 recently 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.

Source: Press release


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