- Ford Motor Company Fund has contributed more than $400,000 in scholarships and educational resources in Panama since the initiative launched in 2015
- 300 students from ten middle schools participate in activities that promote education
- 25 students will be selected to win scholarships through their participation in the "What Drives Your Dreams?" essay contest
PANAMA, P.A., June 25, 2019 — Ford Motor Company Fund returned to Panama to kick-off Ford Driving Dreams 2019 with a day of high-energy and goal-setting activities for 300 middle school students. Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford, has invested more than $400,000 in educational scholarships, grants and resources in Panama, honoring its mission to make people’s lives better.
The event was for students with good academic standing from ten public schools located in some of the most vulnerable areas of the province of Herrera, San Miguelito, and the regions of central, northern and eastern Panama.
Multi-award winner and renowned singer, composer and philanthropist Erika Ender attended the event and shared her inspiring story and the mission of her project, TalenPro with the students, reiterating the importance of education in their lives. TalenPro is a project created by Ender and coordinated by her foundation Puertas Abiertas, where talent joins social work benefitting the participants at an educational level. For the second year in a row, TalenPro is sponsored by Ford Fund.
The event was also attended by percussionist and singer, Alfredo Hidrovo, and professional swimmer and Paralympic athlete César Barría, who spoke about the importance of education and the determination to not abandon their dreams in the face of possible obstacles.
The activities were held at the Hotel W Panama, in collaboration with United Way Panama and the Ministry of Education of Panama (MEDUCA). The students from the participating schools will have the opportunity to compete in the "What Drives Your Dreams?" essay contest to win scholarships. These scholarships will help students and their families defray the cost of school supplies, books, transportation, and other basic needs that often prevent students from completing the school year and moving on to the next grade.
Several groups of students from the participating schools also competed in a talent contest presenting poems, dramatizations, and songs about what drives the dreams of today's youth and why these dreams are important. A judging committee evaluated the presentations and selected the three winning groups.
"It’s an honor for Ford Fund to be able to put these talented students on a path towards a brighter future," said Joe Ávila, manager, community development, U.S. & Latin America, Ford Motor Company Fund. "Through Ford Driving Dreams, Ford Fund helps these students achieve their dreams of continuing their education."
Since 2015, Ford Driving Dreams has positively impacted over 20,000 students in Panama. The scholarships and school grants will be administered by United Way Panama and awarded during the 2020 school year.
"United Way has a long-standing relationship with Ford Motor Company Fund to meet the needs of many communities," said Marisa Arias, executive director, United Way Panama. "Our chapter in Panama is proud to continue being part of such an important collaboration that provides access to educational resources for our youth."
Ford Driving Dreams was designed by Ford Fund to help youth graduate on time and pursue higher education. The initiative has impacted more than 200,000 students across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Latin America since it was launched in 2012. It has delivered more than $10 million in educational resources.
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 63 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 www.fordfund.org or join us at @FordFund on Facebook and Twitter