Global Initiatives

E.E. Ford Foundation Awards Matching Grant for Global Initiatives

By Teresa Messmore, Director of Communications and Marketing
This article appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of the Tower Hill Bulletin

The E.E. Ford Foundation has granted a matching $50,000 award to Tower Hill School in support of the Global Scholar Certificate Program, an Upper School initiative that builds global competence, leadership and cultural growth in students. The grant must be matched in an equal amount through school fundraising efforts. 
 
Founded in 1957 by IBM businessman Edward E. Ford, the E.E. Ford Foundation supports independent secondary schools, challenging them to leverage their unique talents, expertise and resources to advance teaching and learning. The foundation has granted more than $118 million to over 800 schools over six decades, and the matching grant component is a required part of the application process. 
 
“The E.E. Ford Foundation is a longtime champion of independent schools, and receiving a coveted grant from this foundation is a testament to the quality and caliber of our teachers and program,” Head of School Bessie Speers said. “We are extremely grateful and excited to receive support from this nationally recognized leader in school philanthropy.” 
 
This is Tower Hill’s second grant from the E.E. Ford Foundation, and the funds will strengthen the Upper School’s new Global Scholar Certificate Program. Launched in 2016, the program encompasses coursework, extracurricular activities and capstone projects that have a global focus. Students must take seven semesters of language classes, complete four global projects or papers, and present their work to the student body. They participate in student clubs and service learning with global perspective, travel with a school-sponsored domestic or international excursion, and complete a culminating senior portfolio focusing on a global issue. 
 
The first three students who completed the program graduated in 2017 with a notation on their transcripts and an official Tower Hill Global Scholar certificate:
Alexandra Caimi ‘17, now a freshman at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, wrote her senior thesis on the economic impact of Korean pop music, or “K-pop,” around the world. 
Matt Santos ‘17, a freshman at Oxford College, completed a thesis titled “The Key to Sustaining the Use of Water Filtration and Safe Health Practices to Solve Cambodia’s Water Crisis.” 
Emily Yin ‘17, now enrolled at the University of Southern California, examined the use of pesticides on food and the impacts on human health and the overall economy. 
 
There are now 35 students participating in the program in Grades 10 through 12, and Director of Global Initiatives Eduardo Silva anticipates that another 15-20 freshmen will join this year. 
 
“With this E.E. Ford Foundation grant, we’ll be able to dive further into our curriculum of global studies by offering students and faculty the resources they’ll need to make meaningful connections within their classrooms,” Silva said. “Whether it’s more training for faculty or scholarships for students to attend symposiums and forums, this gift will enhance our vision of making Tower Hill School a school of Wilmington and of the world.” 
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