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Ford Community Corps - University of Detroit Mercy Mission/Vision

Ford Community Corps

The Institute for Leadership and Service seeks bold and creative ways to use the many resources of University of Detroit Mercy to serve our community. The Ford Motor Company Fund has provided financial support to assist the Institute in fostering the strategic partnerships, which form the centerpiece of this new program.


The primary goal of this program is to support faculty and students interested in developing a service-learning project to meet the needs of an agency or target population in metropolitan Detroit. The objectives of the program are to:

  • Enhance student leadership skills development through practical experiences of serving those in need.
  • Broaden students’ classroom learning through direct community engagement.
  • Improve the capacity of community-based, human service organizations by creating partnerships between these organizations, Ford and Detroit Mercy.
  • Increase the students’ awareness of service opportunities in the community and Ford Motor Company’s commitment to community engagement.
  • Assist faculty in identifying and using best practices in service learning.

Grant Information

  • Financial support is available for faculty and students willing to perform the required tasks. Check out the awards and requirements below.
  • The faculty member and student leader must submit a joint proposal of a service-learning project to obtain the grant. Apply below.
  • The proposal will be evaluated by the Curriculum of Service Sub-committee of the Institute. Please contact if you have further questions.

Past Grant Winners



    How to Apply

    If you are interested in the Ford Community Corps Partnerships, please review the steps outlined below:

    1. Form your project idea. The Institute, in partnership with Ford, is interested in supporting project proposals that will be implemented during a winter service-learning courseMore specifically, we want to support projects in which the students in those courses apply the knowledge gained in that course to help a nonprofit organization. If you are interested and seeking suggestions for potential nonprofit or community, The Institute staff has identified a list of potential agencies and is happy to assist interested faculty and student leaders to collaborate and identify agency partners.

    2. Review the Evaluation Criteria

    3. Submit a Proposal.

    • We are now expecting proposals, you can click here to download a proposal template.
    • Proposals can be submitted via email at or a paper copy can be dropped off at Briggs 212.
    • If you need help filling it out, feel free to contact the FCCP Coordinator Molly Sullivan at

    Awards and Requirements



    An award package is given to each participating student leader for completing the specific criteria while contributing to the overall project.

    In Fall 2015, student leaders will receive full tuition remission, if needed, for attending the FCCP leadership course (3 credits). All students will conduct community assessments and develop an action plan. 

    Note: Students will not have to pay any extra for LEAD 4000 or LEAD 2000. If a student is not paying the flat rate tuition, or if they are not getting scholarship that covers the LEAD courses, the Institute will arrange for tuition remission. 


    • Enrolling and completing coursework for LEAD 2000 (Winter/Spring 2015) and LEAD 4000 (Fall 2015) courses;
    • Assessing the needs and assets of the target population being served by the proposed project;
    • Coordinating and monitoring the work of the students enrolled in the Winter 2016 service-learning course;
    • Assisting the faculty member to complete the project with surveys, reports, correspondence, etc. as needed for the project.

    NOTE: The student leader will not be enrolled in the service-learning course in which the proposal is implemented; rather they will serve as a teaching assistant and/or project coordinator. Ideally the student leader will have been previously enrolled in the course, or at have some familiarity with the course material.

    Faculty and Staff


    • A $500 stipend to each participating faculty member for their work in integrating the service project into a course for the Winter term of 2016. This course is or will be a service-learning course for Winter 2016.


    • Providing support and mentoring to the student leader in the project coordination, as well as the student leader’s knowledge and skills development related to accomplishing the service project;
    • Teaching the Winter 2016 service-learning course;
    • Assisting the student to complete the project with surveys, reports, correspondence, etc. as needed for the project.

    Click here to download the program structure chart and timeline.


    Grantees 2014-2015

    We are proud to announce the student-faculty partnerships receiving the Ford Community Corps Partnerships Grant for the 2014-2015 academic year.

    • Shannon Marchant and Dr. Kathleen Zimmerman-Oster: Detroit Mercy Emerging Leaders Program students will take part in a group mentoring program called Step Up: Be A Leader and Pay It Forward. This innovative program involves Detroit Mercy students providing group mentoring and lessons in social skills designed to help high school students transition to college. The high school students then pay it forward by teaching the same skills to local junior high and middle school students. Stress and time management, proper use of social media, and techniques for reducing aggression, prejudice, and substance abuse are among the skills taught during the course of the program. This multi-faceted program will assist students at Loyola High School, Hamtramck High School, University of Detroit Jesuit High School, and Bishop Foley Catholic High School.
    • In addition, Shannon Marchant and Steve Corder (with Dr. Kathleen Zimmerman-Oster) will work with Detroit Mercy student-athletes to expand the Step Up program to work with students at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy.  A particular focus of this group mentoring will be on helping the students to focus on “being a scholar-athlete for life” so that they will value lifelong learning and balance between academics and athletics.
    • Megan Parikh, Roshni Shah, Trevor Mannausa: Detroit Mercy freshman resident students will assist in planning the Detroit Mercy Healthy Kids Camp.  These one-day camps will focus on healthy living, nutrition, obesity and community development for Bagley Elementary and two other Detroit schools. 
    • Natalie Dumais, Kaitlyn Kus, Dr. Andrea Kwasky and Dr. Catherine Corrigan:  The students in a Nursing Directed Study and service learning class will visit Ss. Peter and Paul Warming Shelter and interview the homeless guests to learn about their health issues and concerns.  The students will then create pamphlets and brochures that address the most common illnesses to educate and empower the homeless visitors to the shelter.  
    • Manpreet Gill and David Koelsch:  Detroit Mercy Law students will work with the Strategic Partnership of Michigan interviewing low-income immigrants. The law students will provide legal advice regarding immigrant options and will provide other assistance to empower these clients.
    • Jim Vollmer and Dr. Min Xu:  Students in the MBA program at Detroit Mercy will form two teams with representatives from Mumford High School and Livernois corridor business owners who are part of University Commons. These teams will discuss how to best engage Mumford High School students to develop an entrepreneurial atmosphere to motivate local high school students to develop small businesses on Livernois. The teams will also make presentations to the Mumford High School Students on topics such as the benefits of and how to create a business plan.
    • Jasmine Green and Terri Laws: Detroit Mercy students in the African-American Studies program will get to know students at the Church of the Covenant after-school program through ongoing tutoring relationships. At the end of the program, the University students will meet with congregation members and offer some reflections on how the issues studied in the course might help reshape the programs at the church.  
    • Marianne Grima and Charles Wilson: Detroit Mercy students will meet with residents of the Haven Domestic Violence Shelter who have been sexually abused or who have been victims of domestic violence.  Students will develop an education and awareness program aimed at young adults that can be used to inform others of the harmful effects of these crimes against women. The students will also develop a list of volunteer tasks that will be used to recruit future volunteers. 
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