Last December, armed with four unique proposals and an infectious passion for building a sustainable community, student team finalists from Fayetteville State University, Howard University, Huston-Tillotson University and Tuskegee University descended on Ford World Headquarters last week to present their projects to a panel of judges, which included radio personality Tom Joyner, in the first Ford HBCU Community Challenge Competition.
After an intense afternoon of presentations, Huston-Tillotson University, located in Austin, Texas, was named winner of the Ford HBCU Community Challenge Competition. The student project, in partnership with Blackshear Elementary School, is focused on transforming a 33-square-foot dumpster into a fully functioning home complete with running water, toilet, shower, bed and solar-generated electricity. The project aims to promote living practices that encourage sustainability.
The Ford HBCU Community Challenge Competition is an extension of one of Ford Fund’s signature educational programs, The Ford College Community Challenge. The new program, with the theme “Building Sustainable Communities,” was conducted in partnership with the Tom Joyner and Rickey Smiley morning shows, and encouraged HBCU students to design projects that address pressing local community needs.
Students were encouraged to creatively address a tangible, unmet community need that touched on at least one of these four areas– mobility, alternative energy, sustainability/water and a systematic approach to meeting community needs. Scholarships were awarded to the Huston-Tillotson University team, and community grants were awarded to nonprofits to support implementation of the winning project.
Each finalist team also received funds to support the implementation of its ideas within its community, in addition to iPads for each student member.
For your school’s chance to be a big winner like Huston-Tillotson and win a $40,000 scholarship, enter this year’s Ford HBCU Community Challenge here.