The National Society of High School ScholarsNSHSS

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Partnerships and Collaborations

NSHSS is excited to share details about the Ford College Community Challenge. Ford Motor Company Fund is reaching out to students, colleges and universities to request proposals for the ninth round of this innovative grant-making initiative. The program is designed to empower student-led projects at higher education organizations to catalyze community-building projects that address pressing local needs.

The overarching theme of the Ford College Community Challenge is “Building Sustainable Communities.” At Ford, we understand that to be a truly sustainable organization, we must play an active role in the larger community, helping address a wide range of vital issues from education to safety to mobility.

Winning proposals must address, in some creative way, a tangible, unmet community need that addresses the issue of building a sustainable community. Participants are urged to think broadly and explore a variety of potential topics including infrastructure and workforce needs, education pipeline issues, design issues, new approaches to student volunteerism, etc.

Up to 10 winning proposals will be selected to receive $25,000 each from Ford Motor Company Fund to support implementation of the proposed projects.

Winning proposals must, at a minimum, meet the following criteria: 

1. The Project Must Describe an Innovative Approach to "Building Sustainable Communities." Potential areas of focus could include (but are not limited to):
a. Sustainable Mobility: How can we design and implement affordable, clean, and safe transportation systems for the 21st Century?
b. Environmental Sustainability: Clean water and air are critical to the overall health and well being of a community. How can members of a community (both individuals and organizations) learn to become more environmentally conscious and sustainable?
c. Sustainable Urban Design.
d. Creative approaches to the conservation, or use, of water.
e. Student volunteer programs that partner with local non profits in new ways.
f. Education and Training: In an increasingly global economy, human capital is perhaps the most important ingredient to a community’s ability to survive and thrive.
g. Safety: What do we mean when we refer to "safe communities?" How has this definition changed with the advent of the internet and other technologies?

2. The project must involve students in a leadership role.
3. The project must seek to address an urgent and unmet community need in a tangible way.
4. The project must involve a community-based organization as a partner.
5. The project must involve the school of engineering, business, and/or design in some way.

To view the detailed requirements, please refer to the F3C Request for Proposals  


May 11 Proposals due (5 p.m. EST)

June 7 Top 20 proposals selected and posted on

Mid July Winners selected

Fall Winners publicly announced

Fall 2016 – Summer 2017 Projects implemented

To submit a proposal for the 2016 Ford College Community Challenge or to learn more about this opportunity, please visit

Click here to see the answer to Frequently Ask Questions

If you have any other factual questions about the F3C proposal process, please contact Mallory Sharpe at, who will route them to the appropriate source for a timely reply.

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