Ford Motor Company Opens Doors for Students
In order to make sure our future communities are a place we are willing to live in and maintain, we need new forms of community sustainability and those innovations will come from our future college graduates.
Ford Motor Company is awarding $280-thousand in Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3) grants for student-led products focused on this goal. This is the seventh year for this program in the United States and those projects that are deemed worthy are given the grant.
However, for the first time Ford is expanding the College Community Challenge to international programs with Enactus to include communities in Brazil and China.
“Educating the next generation of leaders is at the center of Ford Fund’s commitment to a better world,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services.
“Education, innovation and sustainable solutions is a powerful formula for success in our communities, and will help future engineers, managers and entrepreneurs build a solid foundation for the careers of tomorrow.”
Winners of the U.S. Ford C3 for 2014 are:
• Fairmont State University, Fairmont, WV – This project will install community gardens over neglected tennis courts, and provide fresh food for the student food pantry and feeding program.
• Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, MI – This project creates a solar and water collection infrastructure, part of an energy farm and outdoor classroom with an instructional garden for the neighborhood and Detroit Public Schools’ Sampson-Webber Academy.
• Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, MI – Deconstruct a dilapidated Detroit building, implement a standard assessment of the salvaged material, conduct tests for viable re-use and make a design proposal for a new building.
• Kettering University, Flint, MI – Create a sustainable aquaponics farming system combining conventional aquaculture, such as raising fish, with hydroponics, or cultivating plants in water.
• Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN – This team is working with an African group to design a hybrid renewable energy system capable of providing power to 50 homes in Cameroon.
• University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, MI – Make park improvements in the local community to increase safety, accessibility and sustainability. The upgrades will incorporate ecological materials, recycling stations and water conservation systems.
• University of Georgia, Athens, GA – Continue the restoration of neglected and imperiled “marginal” landscapes, building upon a two-year effort to remove invasive vegetation from a campus stream corridor using “prescribed grazing” by goats.
• University of Washington, Seattle, WA – This project would improve accessibility to public transit with an app for mobile devices that provides detailed bus stop information, including arrival, shelter and bench availability, to visually impaired people.
• Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA – Expands the Tricycle Gardens’ Healthy Corner Store Initiative of the 2013 Ford C3 team by expanding sustainable transportation solution to increase community access to fresh produce in neighborhood corner stores.
• Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA –The project, in partnership with Brookview House, will address the needs of Boston youth through improvements to the facilities, creating a supportive and safe environment for homeless women and children from our local communities.