Not enough young people are going into engineering and math fields in the U.S. these days. This will pose some big problems across all types of industries, the auto business being one of them. In fact, some Society of Auto Engineers members predict a huge shortfall of engineers within 10 to 15 years, especially when it comes to those who can work on electric vehicles and other quickly advancing technologies. To that end, Ford is helping to fuel a new generation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) students by handing out scholarships in North Texas.
This week, the Ford Motor Company Fund, along with North Texas Ford Dealers, gave out nearly $350,000 in scholarships to high school students in their communities and 80% of recipients fall into the STEM category. The scholarships are part of the Ford Driving Dreams initiative, delivering more than $800,000 in education programs and awareness and reaching more than 14,000 students in North Texas.
“The North Texas Ford Dealers are part of the fabric of this community and by working jointly with Ford Fund, this year we have doubled our scholarship investment and are able to help our young people achieve a stronger future,” said Sam Pack, chairman of the North Texas Ford Dealers. “It’s been exciting to connect with our local high schools and close the school year knowing that Ford will make a college education more accessible for many local students.”
Ford says STEM fields represent tremendous job opportunities, especially in Texas. According to a study by STEM Connector, Where are the STEM Students? Texas ranks second as the state projected to have most STEM jobs in the country by 2018.
Scholarship recipient Selena Marroquin, 18, will be the first in her family to go to college and was inspired by a friend to pursue a degree in science. “During my middle school years, I had a best friend who had cancer. This experience moved me to become involved in science and medicine,” said Marroquin. “Currently I have a part-time job to make money to save for college and the Ford scholarship gets me closer to fulfilling my purpose in life and join the medical field to help others like my friend.” Marroquin graduated from H. Grady Spruce High School and plans to pursue a degree in biology at University of Texas, Dallas.
Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, invests more than $8 million a year in scholarships and other education initiatives. In addition to Ford Driving Dreams, Ford Fund educational programs include Ford Blue Oval Scholars, Ford Next Generation Learning, Ford College Community Challenge and the Ford STEAM Lab.
Photo Credit: Ford