Ford Motor Company Fund celebrated the achievements of more than 140 graduating seniors from 10 Detroit-area high schools at its ninth annual Blue Oval Scholars program. Ford presented the awards – ranging from $250 to $1,000 – on Wednesday, at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
Jacob Durrah, a 2017 University of Michigan computer science engineering graduate and 2012 Blue Oval Scholarship winner, delivered the keynote address. Durrah, who attended Detroit’s Finney High School, is joining Ford this summer as part of the company’s College Graduate Program in product development. He credits his interest in pursuing STEM education to his participation in programs like Ford’s Blue Oval Scholars.
“I feel honored, grateful and humble,” said Durrah. “Five years ago, Ford believed in me enough to award me the scholarship, and they still believe in me today.”
Pamela Alexander, director, community development, Ford Motor Company Fund, said Ford is committed to helping students reach their full potential and realize their dreams. “Not only does the Blue Oval Scholars program promote education, it also builds confidence in students who are poised to be tomorrow’s leaders, thinkers and problem solvers,” she said.
Blue Oval Scholarships encourage students to show improvement in academics and overall school performance, and to pursue post-high school educational goals. Ford has awarded nearly $1 million in scholarships to assist more than 1,000 Detroit-area high school graduates with tuition, books, fees and other educational costs in the program’s nine-year history.
This year’s recipients come from 10 high schools: Central Collegiate Academy, Frank Cody, Osborn, Southeastern and Western International – all in Detroit; and Harper Woods, Mount Clemens, Pontiac, River Rouge and Ypsilanti Community high schools.
Ford Motor Company Fund invests more than $18 million a year in scholarships and other education initiatives globally. In addition to Ford Blue Oval Scholars, Ford Fund educational programs include Ford STEAM Lab, Ford Next Generation Learning, Ford College Community Challenge and Ford Driving Dreams Tour.