Ford, LULAC and Judson University Team Up to Help Latina Students Stay on the Road to Graduation
(Elgin, IL – August 20, 2012) As the doors open on a new school year, 30 Latina students from Larsen Middle School and Elgin High School will have the chance to develop their education through the 2012-2014 Ford Driving Dreams through Education program. Coordinated by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Institute, Inc. and the Ford Motor Company Fund, the Driving Dreams program is a measure designed to improve high school dropout rates among Latina students.
LULAC Council #5236, which serves the Dundee, Carpentersville and Elgin communities, received a $20,000 grant to implement a program that helps Latinas graduate from high school on time. The grant was written and coordinated by Judson School of Education Professor Christine Starzynski, who is also a long-standing member of LULAC Council #5236.
“We are honored to have been selected as a Ford Driving Dreams Through Education grantee,” she says. “We look forward to working together with the teachers and volunteers to promote STEM activities with these young women.” Starzynski wrote the grant because of Judson’s ongoing partnership with the organization. Judson also offers a scholarship to Hispanic students through LULAC.
Through the Driving Dreams grant, Council #5236 will be able to work with Elgin School District U46 to expand the students’ knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math careers (STEM). Last year, these organizations teamed together to present the “Adelente” Conference, which targeted the same concerns. The Driving Dreams grant will help the group grow this program into a yearlong effort.
“At Ford, education is a top priority because we understand that it is key to developing the future workforce for our company and for our education,” says Jim Vella, president of the Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “We are proud to support local efforts that inspire Hispanic students to achieve their dreams and build better futures, which will collectively have a significant impact on our nation’s economy.”
Council #5236 was selected to participate based on their best practices for engaging students in mentoring programs, after-school volunteer activities, STEM conferences, and parental involvement.
Founded in 1929, LULAC is the oldest Hispanic civic organization in the U.S. Council #5236 boasts more than 30 active and committed members and more than a decade of service to the Elgin, Carpentersville and Dundee communities.
Judson University is a fully accredited, private Christian university of the liberal arts, sciences and professions. Judson offers degrees in more than 50 different majors/minors for traditional, graduate, and adult students. Located in Elgin, Ill., Judson is a Top-Tier College in the Midwest, according to U.S. News and World Report. With an academically challenging environment and encouraging spiritual community, Judson shapes lives that will shape the world.