Miami students driven to success

Three local students on the path to college

Carla St.Louis | 3/20/2014, 9 a.m.

Vroom, vroom, vroom. What’s that sound? Two driven Miami high school students found themselves on the path to success after they were chosen from more than 1,000 applicants for Ford’s “What Drives Your Dream” essay contest.

Launched in 2012, the Ford Driving Dreams Tour provides an innovative program to boost on-time high school


Yulonda Richards Miami Senior High School

graduation and has visited 15 high schools in Florida and Texas, reaching nearly 25,000 students.

Twenty students were selected as finalists from more than 1,000 submissions, including Vanzell Dupont of Miami


Vanzell Dupont Miami Jackson Senior High

Jackson Senior High School and Yulonda Richards of Miami Senior High School. The winning teenagers were chosen for describing their versions of a successful future in an essay.

“The Ford Driving Dreams Tour is giving our students a wealth of resources to motivate them to successfully complete high school on time and move on to college,” said Alberto Carvalho, superintendent, Miami-Dade County Public Schools. “We are so proud of our students for sharing their essays about their future dreams and goals, and we congratulate our finalists.”

The two students, along with eighteen other applicants, were honored by Ford Motor Company Fund, part of the Ford Driving Dreams Tour along with their participating high schools at a community luncheon on February 21 at Miami Dade College.

They will also compete online for the opportunity to win the grand prize of a $5,000 scholarship and a $4,000 grant for a school program of his or her choice. Voters must select the best student video from now through March 21 on www.fordscholars.org/drivingdreams but voting is limited to one vote per day.

Ford Motor Company Fund is offering $40,000 in scholarships and $40,000 in prizes and grants to four public high schools in Miami-Dade County.

“Education has been a top priority for Ford Fund since its start more than 60 years ago,” said Joe Avila, community outreach manager, Ford Motor Company Fund. “With the Ford Driving Dreams Tour, we go further with local groups to positively impact the lives of thousands of students.” 

Students from participating high schools have until April 16th to apply for a Ford scholarship at http://chci.org.