Ford, OC GRIP Mentoring and Incentive Partnership

Ford has teamed with Orange County law enforcement in the GRIP program to offer one-on-one mentoring and incentive programs to elementary and middle school students from schools all across Orange County.

The program consists of regional Ford employees, including Henry Ford III, visiting GRIP schools monthly, getting to know the students, and sharing about their careers to provide students a close look at how cars are designed and sold.

During these visits, Ford and OC GRIP identify over 100 at-risk students each year, ages 9 to 13 in grades 4 through 8, who are offered an incentive to improve their grades, attendance and behavior. Their reward is a visit to the company’s Irvine design facilities.

To earn this reward, the students must meet a challenge to have no unexcused absences, criminal activity or arrests, violence or weapons on campus, gang-related clothing, writing, or behavior. For the program conducted by OC GRIP and Ford in 2013, all selected children met the challenge.

During their 2013 visit to the Ford Irvine headquarters, the students were among the first to see the all-new Ford Mustang shortly after its December 2013 debut. They spent time with Ford’s design team learning about the studio design process of concept cars, including the Shelby Cobra Concept, Bronco Concept, Start Concept, Bullitt Mustang, and the Hot Wheels Transit Connect. They also interacted with Ford employees in a variety of games and activities with prizes.

During the event, students got the chance to meet special VIP guest speaker, professional skateboarder Ryan Sheckler. Also in attendance was Henry Ford III, great-great grandson of Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford, who along with law enforcement officers and prosecutors took the time to talk to students about positive life choices and the negative effects of criminal street gangs.

“Ford is proud to continue expanding our partnership with OC GRIP on behalf of these local students. Through this program, right before our eyes, our team has seen children become more engaged with learning. It demonstrates the change we can make in our communities when local organizations like Ford and OC GRIP partner together.”

– Tom Brewer, General Manager of Ford Motor Company West Market Area