Ford Motor Company Fund and the League of United Latin American Citizens have announced the 2013 Ford Driving Dreams Through Education grantees. Eight winning LULAC councils each receive $20,000 over two school years to implement a high school dropout prevention program in partnership with an educational entity.

Each winning council will implement programs that uniquely address its local dropout crisis using student engagement activities ranging from music to mentoring. This year’s winners are:

  • Albuquerque, N.M. – Council No. 8035
  • Austin, Texas – Council No. 4933
  • Bartow, Fla. – Council No. 7227
  • El Paso, Texas – Council No. 8
  • Plano, Texas – Council No. 4537
  • Pueblo, Colo. – Council No. 3043
  • San Antonio, Texas – Council No. 4619
  • Tucson, Ariz. – Council No. 1057

Another two councils – Council No. 39000 in Dayton, Ohio, and Council No. 9607 in Kansas City, Mo. – were selected from the 2011 recipients to receive an additional $10,000 to continue their programs.

“Ford Driving Dreams Through Education has encouraged more than 700 students to stay in school, graduate on time and pursue higher education,” said Joedis Avila, manager of community outreach, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “Programs like this help ensure young people have the education they need to one day compete in our global economy.”

Recent studies indicate that while dropout rates are decreasing and college enrollment is increasing for Hispanics, Hispanic youth continue to lag behind white youth in both measures.

In 2011 about 14 percent of Hispanics, ages 16 to 24, were high school dropouts according to the Pew Research Center. In 2000 this rate was double – or 28 percent. For white students, the rate was 5 percent in 2011 and about 7 percent in 2000.

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