Ford College Community Challenge Boosts Sustainability, Student Innovation with $250,000 in Grants

  • Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company,
    is awarding $250,000 in Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3)
    grants for student-led projects
  • The U.S. program is in its eighth year of supporting sustainable
    efforts to address urgent community needs focused on “Building
    Sustainable Communities”
  • Ford C3 continues to grow in the U.S., expanding to include Tribal
    Colleges, and also is extending its reach globally to include Brazil,
    China, and several African nations

DEARBORN, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Twelve years ago Brian Fountaine was a tank commander on patrol in Iraq
when two bombs exploded under his Humvee, taking both of his legs and
nearly killing him. Today, Brian is a design student at Northeastern
University using 3D printing technology to develop high-quality,
less-expensive prosthetic limbs for veterans and other amputees.

The work of Brian and his team is one of 10 student-led sustainability
projects awarded a 2015 Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3) grant
from Ford Motor Company Fund. Ford C3 recognizes colleges and
universities for utilizing school resources and student participation to
address an urgent community need under the theme: Building Sustainable

Ford C3 winners are required to present proposals for sustainable
projects with significant student input, involvement and leadership.
Water conservation, renewable energy, urban gardening, recycling and
mobility are among the proposals submitted by these creative teams of
students. Each of the winning projects will receive a $25,000 grant to
support their project.

“Innovation and sustainability are two essential elements that will help
strengthen communities and improve the quality of life for the people
who call them home,” said Mike Schmidt, director of Education and
Community Development, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Education is how we
open the door to a better world and inspire a new generation of
engineers and entrepreneurs to lead us into a successful future.”

The Ford C3 grants are part of more than $1.7 million in new and ongoing
global educational investments by Ford Fund, which contributes more than
$8 million annually in scholarships, grants and other initiatives. Ford
Fund is the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company.

Ford Fund this year also worked with the American Indian College Fund to
run a C3 program with Tribal Colleges and Universities in the U.S. for
the first time, while also continuing the Ford Historically Black
Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Community Challenge. Ford C3 last year
launched in Brazil and China, and expanded this year to include Ghana,
Kenya, Morocco and South Africa.

Campus Compact, a national higher education association dedicated to
campus-based civic engagement, again partnered with Ford Fund in the
U.S. to inform some 600 schools about this year’s grant program.

2015 Winning U.S.-Based Projects

  • Rocky Mountain College – Billings, Montana: Broken Glass to Working

    Students will combat homelessness by teaching homeless
    citizens to recycle and repurpose glass waste, while also learning
    marketable job skills and keeping glass waste out of landfills.
  • Northeastern University – Boston: Designing for Mobility of Veteran

    This project utilizes 3D printing technology to
    develop prosthetic limbs for veterans and others.
  • Wayne State University – Detroit: Ford Warrior STEAM Saturday

    Detroit K-12 students and their families will
    participate in the Warrior STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering,
    Arts and Math – Challenge. Participants will use STEAM skills to solve
    community-based problems or create a finished product to better the
  • University of Georgia – Athens, Georgia: Hands and Hooves for a
    More Sustainable Community

    Building on their 2014 Ford C3
    award-winning project, the Chew Crew will complete a mobile
    shelter/outdoor classroom and restore two landscapes using goats to
    eat invasive plant species.
  • Morehouse College – Atlanta: Mentoring Youth Entrepreneurship Club
    Innovation Lab

    This project will create a maker space,
    Innovation Lab to provide students with the tools and resources to
    take creative ideas through the engineering and design processes.
  • Michigan Technological University – Houghton, Michigan: Plastic
    Recycling to 3D Printer Filament

    Team will work with the
    local community to incorporate a wider variety of plastics into
    recycled filament, and upgrade machinery to use this recycled product
    to produce the filament.
  • Michigan State University – East Lansing, Michigan: Rainwater
    Catchment for Primary School in Buyuni, Tanzania

    In Tanzania
    a rainwater water collection system is necessary to obtain precious
    water. This project focuses on capturing rainwater at a primary school
    in Buyuni, Tanzania, filtering the water, and then storing it for use
    by the wider community.
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison: Slow Food South Madison
    Partnerships for Sustainability

    This proposal seeks to
    increase the distribution of affordable, healthy food in an
    underserved area, making the existing Growing Power Market Basket
    Program more accessible in Madison.
  • University of Michigan – Ann Arbor: Fostering Environmental and
    Community Ownership in Vila Santa Marta, Brazil

    Project is
    to counter the results of trash dumping in public places in Vila Santa
    Marta, Brazil by deterring dumping, increasing communication, building
    community pride and improving security.
  • Wayne State University – Detroit: From Volunteering to Career Paths
    – Student Leadership in Community Food Systems

    This project
    will engage students in hands‐on internships with community-based
    partners, to enhance skills and expand knowledge and thereby help
    further their careers in community food systems.

To view this year’s winning U.S. projects and get more information
please visit:

About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services

Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community
and global partners to advance driving safety, education and community
life. Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 65 years with
ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills for Life is
free, interactive, hands-on safety training focused on skill development
and driving techniques, while addressing inexperience, distractions and
impaired driving.
Innovation in education is encouraged through
Ford Blue Oval Scholars, Ford Next Generation Learning and other
inspiring programs that enhance high school learning and provide college
scholarships and university grants. The Ford Volunteer Corps enlists
more than 30,000 Ford employees and retirees each year to work on local
projects that strengthen their communities and improve people’s lives in
more than 40 countries around the world. For more information, visit

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in
Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six
continents. With about 195,000 employees and 66 plants worldwide, the
company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company
provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more
information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit

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Ford Motor Company Fund
Todd Nissen