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Ford Motor Company Fund Announces Winners of the Third Annual Ford Gives Back Freedom Awards

  • Atlanta-based Emory University School of Medicine's Pipeline Collaborative (EPiC) receives first-place award and $25,000 grant for preparing high school students to enter health professions

  • Chicago State University's Pre-Freshman Program in Engineering and Science (PREP) receives runner-up award and $10,000 grant for motivating and preparing traditionally underrepresented students to pursue STEM and technical career opportunities

  • Now in its third year, the Ford Gives Back Freedom Awards have contributed $95,000 in grants to local nonprofits who are providing support and programming for the African American community

DEARBORN, Mich., May 10, 2021 — Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford, is announcing Emory University School of Medicine's Pipeline Collaborative and Chicago State University as the winners of the 2021 Ford Gives Back Freedom Award. The two organizations are being awarded grants of $25,000 and $10,000 respectively to further their community impact.

The Ford Gives Back Freedom Awards are open to past honorees of Ford Freedom Unsung and Ford Freedom's Sisters—two Ford Fund initiatives that recognize individuals or organizations that are making a positive impact in the African American community. Past honorees of both programs are eligible to apply for funding to build upon the vital work they are doing to help people overcome obstacles to upward mobility.

"Each of these dedicated organizations provides vital support to the African American community and especially to Black youth," said Pamela Alexander, director of community development, Ford Motor Company Fund. "We are proud to recognize the important role they play and to invest in their future success."

Receiving the top-place, $25,000 grant is Atlanta-based Emory University School of Medicine’s Pipeline Collaborative (EPiC). The collaborative is a comprehensive three-year program of learning, mentoring, college preparation and health careers exposure that prepares high school students for entry into health professions. The Emory Pipeline Collaboration achieves its mission of readying youth for healthcare professions by engaging them in after-school sessions during the academic year and the summer. However, they were hampered by COVID and the ongoing marginalization felt by the students—especially Black males in their target schools.

"Over this past year, our programming community has been hit hard by the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice," said Allen Lee, EPiC program manager. "However, we have been inspired by our students' successes in the face of such adversity. We will use this award to increase our outreach into the communities that we serve, with the goal of recruiting more students who identify as Black males into the program. Together, EPiC and the Ford Motor Company Fund will provide much-needed encouragement to our students as we expose them to higher education and healthcare careers."

The $10,000 runner-up grant is awarded to Chicago State University's Pre-Freshman Program in Engineering and Science (PREP). The program is designed to make students aware, at an early age, of the professional opportunities in engineering and to encourage students to take more mathematics and science as a part of their high school course load.

Chicago State University's PREP program operates eight months during the academic year and six weeks in the summer, providing youth with hands-on enrichment experiences that help motivate students to achieve their full potential.

"We are so grateful to have been selected as a 2021 Ford Gives Back Award recipient," said Marnie Boyd, PREP program director and assistant director of Engineering Studies at Chicago State University. "This meaningful recognition and support empowers us to remain true to our mission of exposing under-resourced and underrepresented middle and high school students to the incredible world of STEM, inspiring them to pursue STEM-related degrees and careers."

The inaugural Ford Gives Back Freedom Award was presented in 2019 to The Hidden Genius Project of Oakland California—an organization that trains and mentors young black men in technology, entrepreneurship and leadership. In 2020, the award was presented to A New Way of Life of Los Angeles California, a program for formerly incarcerated women and their children, with a runner up award of $10,000 going to Bean's Café in Anchorage Alaska—a weekend lunch program for children and their parents.

For more than 100 years, Ford has invested in programs that enable social mobility and economic success in the African American community. Other Ford Fund programs that support the African American community include Ford First Gen, a program that provides first generation college students attending Historically Black Colleges and University's support to help them stay in school, and Men of Courage, a national grassroots program designed to build communities by advancing the narrative of Black Men through storytelling.

For more information about how Ford Motor Company Fund supports the African American community, go to


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 50 countries, Ford Fund provides access to opportunities and resources that help people reach their full potential. Since 1949, Ford Fund has invested more than $2.1 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, Instagram and Twitter.