SAN ANTONIO - The Ford Motor Co. Fund has awarded $2,500 Ford Blue Oval Scholarships to each of ten local San Antonio high school students. These young men and women, recognized as “Blue Oval Scholars,” will soon find their award to be an enviable accreditation for having achieved their tech-based education. The awards will be made after the students have made their college selection. Awardees and their high schools are:

James G. Sullivan – Ronald Reagan High School; Omri S. Russo – Winston Churchill High School; Luc H. Le – Theodore Roosevelt High School; Josue D. Cruz – Burbank High School; Joshua G. Charles – Brooks Academy High School; Yevgeniya S. Vinogradova – John Jay Science & Engineering Academy; Angela M. Morales – McCollum High School; Victoria A. Gonzalez – South San Antonio High School; Ariana M. Bocanegra – Southwest High School, and Camille M. Baker – Warren High School.

The Ford Blue Oval Award Scholarships are a part of a larger effort, Operation Goodwill, launched earlier this year by Ford Motor Co. Fund. It is an innovative initiative designed to increase Ford's philanthropic and community-related commitment in select cities across America. Through this program, 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.

Ford Motor Co. Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Co., is a highly-recognized industry leader committed to furthering the development of America’s future engineers, scientists and technical work force. It has partnered with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation, who in sharing its workforce development vision, administers the scholarship. The Ford Blue Oval Scholarship, a one-year gift, allows students to apply for subsequent awards. It was established in the summer of 2009 with plans to expand to other cities.

“We are all working toward a common goal – influencing and encouraging young people to pursue manufacturing engineering degrees by focusing on a technology-based education. If we are successful in reaching them, we think they will be better able to align themselves with emerging technologies and the skilled, high-demand jobs industry has told us it will need,” says James G. (Jim) Vella, president, Ford Motor Co. Fund and Community Services.

The scholarship awarded to San Antonio high school students required they reside in Bexar County, TX, maintain a minimum of 2.5/4 GPA or GED certificate; be a part time or full time student pursuing a career in engineering or engineering technology and enrolled in a diploma/certificate, two-year or four-year program, and submit a student essay with two letters of reference. In administering the scholarships, the SME Education Foundation reviewed applicant submissions and determined awardees.

“Young people have to be made more aware of how innovative technologies are redefining the world, and the importance of their being educated in order for them to be a part of it,” says Bart Aslin, director, SME Education Foundation. “The Ford Blue Oval Scholarship is a worthy investment which will have critical impact on need. We are pleased to share their commitment.”

Today, nearly 30% of workers with science and engineering degrees are age 50 and older. As a result, our future technical workforce is at risk and U.S. manufacturing is being lost to overseas markets in Japan, China, Korea and Brazil. As industry demands on the workforce increase, so must student knowledge of 21st century skills. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the U.S. will face a skilled-worker shortage of eight million by 2010, up to 14 million by 2014. As a result, preparation of a technical workforce is more important than ever.