FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 7, 2018
FORD REWARDS OVER 130 LOCAL AT-RISK STUDENTS WITH EXCLUSIVE VISIT TO REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS DESIGN STUDIO
SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Orange County Gang Reduction and Intervention Partnership (OC GRIP) and their partners, Ford Motor Company (Ford) and Taco Bell, rewarded over 130 local elementary and middle school students with an exclusive visit to Ford’s regional headquarters today for making positive life choices and staying out of gangs.
Students had the opportunity to participate in a behind-the-scenes tour of Ford’s design studio. Students also met and heard from law enforcement officers and prosecutors, including District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Senior Assistant District Attorney Tracy Miller. To earn this incentive, the students met a challenge to have no unexcused absences, criminal activity or arrests, violence or weapons on campus, and no gang-related clothing, writing, or behavior.
As part of the program this year, students completed designs for a vehicle wrap to be applied to an OC GRIP vehicle used at community events. The designs were judged by a team from Ford. The winning design was made into a vehicle wrap and installed by RMD Group. The OC GRIP vehicle with its new winning design was unveiled at the event.
“We’re honored to be part of these kids’ lives,” says Robert Kaffl, General Sales & Marketing Manager of Ford Motor Company Western U.S. “They’re filled with curiosity but need to know that it’s OK to choose learning over gangs. All of us at Ford are grateful to be involved in partnership with OC GRIP, working in our neighborhoods to help build confidence and a commitment to learning among these young people. It has been one of the best volunteer programs I have been involved with in my 24 years at Ford all due to the amazing partnership and support of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) and those dedicated and brave men and women in Orange County law enforcement who donate hours to support the kids in the GRIP program.”
“The Orange County Probation Department is proud to be part of the outstanding Partnership with the OCDA as well as the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and other police departments. The partnership with Ford has been a yearly event to recognize our GRIP youth while providing them a great experience at the Ford Design Center as well as ongoing mentorship in the community,” stated Chief Probation Officer Steve Sentman.
Orange Police Department Chief Tom Kisela remarked, “The Ford partnership with GRIP is one of the best examples on how corporate America and law enforcement can work together with our ‘at-risk’ youth to positively impact the community.”
“Today’s event was all about demonstrating the future of infinite possibilities to these students, who have already demonstrated through their actions that they want a future of promise, and that does not come through gang life,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “Our hope is that these students continue on a path of success, stay out of gangs, and encourage each other to do the same.”
This is the 7th year the OC GRIP program, in partnership with Ford and their employees, has provided at-risk-students with resources and support to encourage them to make education a priority in their lives. In this year alone, over 90 Ford employees volunteered their time by visiting 13 Orange County schools to meet with students in the program.