October 08, 2014

Ford Awards Wentworth $25,000 for Community Project

Matt Roza, BIND, and Jackie Irwin, BMED, two co-ops working on the Brookview project this semester

DEARBORN, Mich. – Students at Wentworth Institute of Technology were awarded a $25,000 grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund for renovating teen study rooms at the Brookview House in Dorchester Center. Brookview provides homeless women with children safe housing and programs that help them with life skills. The renovations will provide residents with new spaces designated for homework help, recreation, preparing their own meals, socializing with other youth, and creating a space where they feel at home.  

The Brookview House renovation by Wentworth is one of 16 student sustainability projects at 15 colleges and universities awarded grants in the 2014 Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3). Each of the winning projects will receive funds from Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, to support their work. As part of Ford Fund’s increasing international reach, the program for the first time includes schools outside of the United States.

Brittany Wilson-Guillermo, a senior mechanical engineering major at Wentworth, spearheaded the planning and execution of the Brookview House project. Brittany first worked with the Brookview House as a student coordinator for an Alternative Spring Break trip in 2012, but her connection to the organization originally began by helping her mother teach sewing to the residents. When Brittany was looking for deeper ways to become engaged in the community, she turned to the Brookview House and the connection she had felt while observing first-hand its mission of empowering women to be self-sufficient.

As a Community Project Liaison, Brittany works closely with staff at Wentworth’s Center for Community and Learning Partnerships and the Brookview House to plan the renovations. She has also engaged Industrial Design, Architecture, and Interior Design majors from Wentworth for the project and going forward, she will engage other students to take ownership of and complete the renovations.

The grant from the Ford Motor Company will help pay for the cost of building materials and furniture.  All labor of the project will be provided by Wentworth students, staff, faculty and alumni.  

“We are honored to have our students recognized by the Ford Motor Company for their community philanthropy,” said Wentworth President Zorica Pantic. “Wentworth’s Center for Community and Learning Partnerships has as a mission to build community by providing project-based professional services and access to higher education.”

Ford C3 recognizes colleges and universities for utilizing school resources and student participation to address an urgent community need under the theme: Building Sustainable Communities. 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 transportation are among the proposals submitted by these creative teams of students.

“Educating the next generation of leaders is at the center of Ford Fund’s commitment to a better world,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “Education, innovation and sustainable solutions is a powerful formula for success in our communities, and will help future engineers, managers and entrepreneurs build a solid foundation for the careers of tomorrow.”

The other 2014 Ford C3 winners in the U.S. are:

  • Fairmont State University, Fairmont, WV
  • Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, MI
  • Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, MI
  • Kettering University, Flint, MI
  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, MI
  • University of Georgia, Athens, GA
  • University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

For the first time, Ford is expanding the College Community Challenge internationally, partnering with Enactus to include communities in Brazil and China. Enactus is an international organization that connects students, educators and business leaders to transform opportunities into real, sustainable progress for their communities.

Ford will expand the C3 program to additional international markets in 2015. Over the past seven years, Ford Fund has provided more than $1.7 million to student teams awarded Ford C3 grants.

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.

To view this year’s winning projects and get more information please visit: www.fordscholars.org/contests/ford-c3

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