Press Release

America’s Promise Alliance and Ford Motor Company Fund Partner to Help America’s At-Risk Youth

MODEL Teams of Ford volunteers will work with Alliance Partners to Help Improve the Lives of Millions of Children

May 16, 2007 - WASHINGTON – To help celebrate the 10th anniversary of America’s Promise Alliance (the Alliance), the Ford Motor Company Fund, the charitable non-profit organization of Ford Motor Company, today announced that it is joining with the Alliance to launch a new volunteer program to help strengthen the lives of the nation’s disadvantaged children and youth.

The Ford Motor Company Fund made a $50,000 donation to the Alliance which will be used in select cities across the country.  Ford's new volunteer program, MODEL Teams, is comprised of Ford Motor Company employees volunteering their time and talents to make sure at-risk children and youth in their communities experience more of the developmental resources called the Five Promises that research has shown they need in order to succeed – caring adults; safe places; a healthy start; an effective education; and opportunities to help others. Plans for the new program were unveiled today at the University of Michigan Dearborn Environmental Interpretive Center where an Environmental MODEL Team of hundreds of Ford employees gathered to help clean up and improve the conditions along the nearby Rouge River.

The 10 cities that will host the inaugural MODEL Teams will be finalized in the upcoming weeks. Detroit has already been slated as one and other top contenders include Chicago, Kansas City and Cleveland.  The Alliance will work with the cities selected by connecting the MODEL Teams with Alliance partners in their area to design and implement a volunteer program that will be most effective and beneficial for local children and youth.

“The Ford Motor Company has again stepped into the role of trailblazer with the creation of this new volunteer program and we are honored that they have chosen America’s Promise Alliance as the vehicle from which to deliver this service to our communities,” said Marguerite W. Kondracke, president and CEO of America’s Promise Alliance. “Ford is a longstanding supporter of the Alliance and understands that our nation’s greatest resource is its children. Just as the Model-T revolutionized transportation, these MODEL Teams have the potential to dramatically impact the lives of our young people. A century later our automobile needs may have changed but our commitment to children and their future is timeless.”

“The Ford Motor Company understands the importance of the Five Promises. We know the future of our company and this nation rests with its youngest citizens, so our mission has always been about more than making vehicles. It’s about helping communities and our children achieve their potential, and we’re confident that these MODEL Teams will help do that.” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “Too many of our children are not receiving the support they need to thrive and if we can help change that equation our company and our nation will be better for it and we can think of no one better than America’s Promise Alliance to lead this new program with us. ”

The Ford Motor Company Fund has given nearly $7 million to America’s Promise Alliance since 2000. Their support during the Alliance’s first decade has helped fund important initiatives such as: States of Promise; technological innovations such as web based gathering places called Promise Stations that enable more people to contribute to the positive development of young people; the 100 Best Communities for Young People competition and regional forums across the country where public officials, non-profits and child advocates can come together to exchange ideas and learn how they can improve the lives of children and youth in their communities.

Founded in 1949, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services contributed $58 million in 2006. Although a primary focus is education, the Ford Motor Company Fund supports a wide variety of initiatives that improve the quality of life in communities across the country including safety, American Heritage and the arts and humanities.

The Alliance’s comprehensive research report titled Every Child/Every Promise: Turning Failure into Action measured the presence of the Five Promises in young people’s lives, as well as the impact the Promises have on children’s overall well-being. The report revealed that to succeed in life, young people must experience at least four of the Five Promises; moreover, when youth receive these fundamental resources, economic and racial disparities can be eliminated. It also showed that less than one in three young people are receiving enough of the Promises to feel confident that they will succeed.


About the America’s Promise Alliance
America’s Promise Alliance is the nation’s leader in forging a strong and effective partnership alliance comprised of corporations, nonprofit organizations, foundations, policymakers, advocacy and faith groups committed to ensuring that children receive the fundamental resources - the Five Promises – they need to lead successful, healthy and productive lives and build a stronger society. Building on the legacy of our founder General Colin Powell, the Alliance believes the success of our children is grounded in experiencing the Five Promises - caring adults; safe place; a healthy start; an effective education; and opportunities to help others - at home, in school and in the community. For more information about America’s Promise Alliance visit

About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is committed to creating opportunities that promote corporate citizenship, philanthropy, volunteerism and cultural diversity for those who live in the communities where Ford does business.  Established in 1949 and made possible by Ford Motor Company profits, Ford Motor Company Fund supports initiatives and institutions that foster innovative education, auto-related safety, and American heritage and legacy.  National programs include Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies, which provides high school students with academically rigorous 21st century learning experiences, and Driving Skills for Life, a teen-focused auto safety initiative.  The Ford Volunteer Corps, established in 2005, continues Ford's legacy of caring worldwide.  Through the Volunteer Corps, salaried employees, union members, retirees and their families participate in a wide range of volunteer projects in their communities. For more information on programs made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, visit