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Ford Blue Oval Scholarships Address Skills Gap with Awards to San Antonio Students

August 31, 2011
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DEARBORN, MI, and SAN ANTONIO,TX- Addressing the skills gap and critical need for workforce development in advanced manufacturing careers, the SME Education Foundation, in partnership with Ford Motor Co. Fund and Community Services, has awarded Ford Blue Oval Scholarships to ten graduating high school students from San Antonio, Texas (Bexar County) to further their education in engineering and related technologies.

Bart A. Aslin, chief executive officer, SME Education Foundation, says, “In their applications for our Ford Blue Oval Scholarship, these great students exhibited the same critical characteristics. They love engineering, are academically high achievers, have generously balanced their schedules to include volunteering, and were strongly influenced by their parents. We’re proud to introduce these role models as our newest Ford Blue Oval Scholars.”

Ford Motor Co. Fund and Community Services, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Co., is a highly-recognized industry leader committed to education of the next generation including America’s future engineers, scientists and technical work force.

The Ford Blue Oval Scholarship program is an innovative initiative designed to increase Ford's philanthropic and community-related commitment in select cities across America. In San Antonio, Ford Fund is partnering with its dealers in providing funding to support a combination of grants, safety and educational programs and volunteer activities that enhance the quality of life in San Antonio.

The Ford Blue Oval Scholarship, a one-time gift, allows students to apply for subsequent awards. It was established in the summer of 2009 with plans to expand to other U.S. cities and in 2012, a global component will be introduced.

The 2011 Ford Blue Oval Scholars are:

  • Fabian Guadalupe Ortega Alvarado, a graduate of Brackenridge High School will attend Texas State-San Marcos University, San Marcos, TX, to pursue a degree in manufacturing engineering;
  • Joel Bai, is a graduate of Ronald Reagan High School, San Antonio will attend the University of California – Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, to pursue a degree in civil/environmental engineering;
  • Yoseff A. Brooks, a graduate of Sam Houston High School, San Antonio, will attend the University of North Texas, Denton, TX, to pursue a degree in electrical engineering;
  • Elena Marie Carrasco, a graduate of Karen Wagner High School, will attend The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, to pursue a degree in electrical/computer engineering;
  • Aurora M. Castaneda, a graduate of Southwest High School, will attend The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering;
  • Austin D. Gilbert, a graduate of San Antonio Christian High School, will attend The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering;
  • Tyler P. Pruski, a graduate of East Central High School, will attend Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, to pursue a degree in petroleum engineering;
  • Jason M. Salvatierra, a graduate of Karen Wagner High School, will attend The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, to pursue a degree in electrical engineering;
  • Audrey R. Stipe, a graduate of Alamo Heights High School, will attend The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering and
  • Shanasia G. Sylman, a graduate of Earl Warren High School, will attend MIT -Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, to pursue a degree in material science and engineering.

    In the past three years, the SME Education Foundation and Ford Motor Co. Fund and Community Services have been collaborating with local organizations in Chicago and San Antonio (Bexar County) to provide Ford Blue Oval Scholarship opportunities to deserving students, many of whom have faced considerable challenges in securing an education.

    In Chicago a partnership between Ford Fund, the SME Education Foundation and the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC) in 2010 awarded $30,000 in Ford Blue Oval Scholarships following an interactive summer business camp. The highly engaging week introduced students to entrepreneurial opportunities in Chicago including green-tech businesses, and leading technology corporations.

    Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Co. Fund and Community Services says, “Ford Fund and the SME Education Foundation have been working together for some time toward a common goal. We are focused on addressing the skills gap and directing the resources of our Ford Blue Oval Scholarship Program to support outstanding students for their pursuit of advanced manufacturing careers.”

    In 2011, Ford Motor Company marked 100 years in the UK with the announcement of new university scholarships. The Ford Blue Oval Scholarship Program will provide 100 student scholarships – one for each year of the company’s operation in the United Kingdom-–at leading universities to encourage a new generation of engineers, scientists and innovators.

    Ford Fund works with community partners from around the globe to support initiatives in driving safety, and heritage and community life. Ford Motor Co. Fund and Community Services will provide $711,000 to the SME Education Foundation over three years beginning in 2012.

    This is a rewarding time to be in manufacturing,” says Bart Aslin. “We appreciate our relationship with Ford Fund because we each understand advanced manufacturing education is the imperative for preparing our next generation to function in a global community.”

    The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation-created in 1979, is dedicated to the advancement of manufacturing education and preparing the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists. Thanks to the generosity of its partners including corporations, organizations, foundations and individual donors, the Foundation has awarded more than $31 million since 1980 in awards, scholarships and youth programs. For more information, visit http://www.smeef.org . Also visit www.CareerMe.org for information on advanced manufacturing careers and www.ManufacturingisCool.com , for young people.
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