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Ford Fund, LULAC Award $220,000 in Grants to Support High School Dropout Prevention Programs

  • Ford Motor Company Fund and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) announce the 2019 Ford Driving Dreams Grantees

  • Eleven LULAC councils receive grants to implement high school dropout prevention programs and provide resources that support students in their pursuit of higher education

  • Ford Driving Dreams Grants has invested more than $2 million and supported over 2,000 students and 74 councils across the country and in Puerto Rico since 2010

MILWAUKEE, July 12, 2019 — Ford Motor Company Fund and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) are building on their nearly decade-long partnership by awarding $220,000 in educational resources through the 2019 Ford Driving Dreams Grants program.

LULAC conference attendees in Instagram frame for photo op

Announced during the 2019 LULAC National Convention in Milwaukee this week, the grants were presented to LULAC Councils and LULAC National Educational Service Centers, Inc. (LNESC) throughout the country to support programs that encourage students to graduate from high school and help them pursue higher education.  

Ford Fund will award $20,000 in Ford Driving Dreams Grants to each of the eight 2019 LULAC Council grantees to implement programs over two school years in collaboration with a local education entity. Three previous grant recipients from 2017 – Council #2890 in Hollister, California, Council #20009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Council #5294 in Pilsen, Illinois – were selected to receive $10,000 each as a renewal grant to continue their successful programs for an additional school year. LNESC will receive $30,000 to support its scholarship efforts.

“At Ford Fund, we are proud to continue our work with LULAC to help councils provide the resources needed to build brighter educational futures for students in their own communities,” said Joe Ávila, community development manager, U.S. and Latin America, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Education is a priority for Ford and we are committed to the mission of promoting education and helping students reach their academic dreams.”

The 2019 grant recipients are:

  • Council #310 West Liberty, Iowa
  • Council #371 Muscatine, Iowa
  • Council #1208 Phoenix, Arizona
  • Council #2848 Santa Ana, California
  • Council #3272 Buttonwillow, California
  • Council #5296 Woodstock, Illinois
  • Council #14834 Cataño, Puerto Rico
  • Council #22325 Austin, Texas
  • Council #2890 Hollister, California (renewal grant)
  • Council #20009 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (renewal grant)
  • Council #5294 Pilsen, Illinois (renewal grant)

Erick Castrejon is a past beneficiary of the Ford Driving Dreams Grants program through the Waukegan, Illinois LULAC Council #5273. Castrejon participated in Waukegan to College – a college readiness program made possible through a Ford Driving Dreams Grant – for three years. Castrejon will attend Western Michigan University in the fall as a mechanical engineering major. “As a person, I learned a lot about how important it is to help those in need. Had it not been for Waukegan to College, Ford Driving Dreams and LULAC to encourage me to volunteer, I think I would not have understood what it means to impact someone. I am thankful to LULAC and Ford Fund for this opportunity,” said Castrejon.

The Ford Driving Dreams Grants program is a key component of the Ford Fund and LULAC partnership. Since 2010, Ford Fund and LULAC have distributed more than $2 million in grants to 74 Councils – impacting the lives of more than 2,000 students across the country. Each FDD grant recipient develops sustainable programs that reflect the local education landscape and are implemented through partnerships with education institutions within their community.

LULAC conference student speaker at dais

“With Ford Driving Dreams, we have come together as a united community to empower our current and future generation of leaders through education. We are thrilled to work together to achieve an intersectional movement impacting communities beyond the surface and empowering each student’s full potential,” said LULAC’s Chief Executive Officer Sindy M. Benavides. “Today, we join with Ford to celebrate, recognize and support the work of the people who are empowering their communities through academic excellence.”

Earlier this week, Ford Driving Dreams Grants program was presented with the Champion of Education Award by LULAC Wisconsin. The Grants program is part of the Ford Driving Dreams initiative, a signature education program of Ford Fund – the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Dreams was designed to help empower students of all ages to achieve success. The initiative has delivered more than $10 million in educational resources and impacted more than 200,000 elementary, middle and high school students across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Latin America since it was launched in 2012. For more information, visit or join us at @FordDrivingDreams on Facebook and Instagram and follow the stories with #forddrivingdreams.

LULAC grantees

About Ford Motor Company Fund

As the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, Ford Fund’s mission is to strengthen communities and help make people’s lives better. Working with dealers and nonprofit partners in more than 60 countries, Ford Fund provides access to opportunities and resources that help people reach their full potential. Since 1949, Ford Fund has invested more than $2 billion in programs that support education, promote safe driving, enrich community life and encourage employee volunteering. For more information, visit or join us at @FordFund on Facebook and Twitter.