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First in Nation to be designated a Ford NGL K-12 Community

Hampton City Schools have achieved the distinction of becoming the first Ford Next Generation Learning (Ford NGL) K-12 community in the nation. The ceremony took place at the Virginia Air & Space Science Center on June 28, 2023. Hampton City Schools and The Academies of Hampton were designated in 2017 as part of the Ford NGL Community Network supported by Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. 

“Hampton City Schools has made an important and necessary commitment to build awareness and exposure to careers early in a young person’s life and helps them build their knowledge and interest in potential careers earlier in life,” said Cheryl Carrier, executive director, Ford Next Generation Learning. “It has been our distinct honor to assist Hampton City Schools in the development of their plan and believe this is the next level of transformation for K-12 education.”

Ford NGL is internationally recognized for its unique approach to transforming public high schools into career-themed academies that better prepare students for college and professional success in today’s competitive global economy while at the same time improving workforce outcomes and overall community prosperity. 

High school students in Hampton are learning their academics through the lens of a potential career, such as engineering, healthcare, information technology or entrepreneurship. They have the opportunity to participate in authentic work-based learning opportunities, job shadows, and other career exploration activities with local employers. Students work closely with professionals in their field of interest, adding relevance to their studies and connecting classroom knowledge to success in the workplace.

To complement the high school academies, over the last two years, Ford NGL has expanded its support of communities to include the alignment and development of a K-8 plan. Focus areas of K-8 planning provide signature experiences for elementary and middle school students to build awareness and exposure to careers existing in their own region and state. Students are better positioned to make informed decisions, aligned to their interests and passions, about the career academies offered in their high schools.

In order to expand their education transformation from high school to K-12, Hampton developed a five-year master plan to implement K-12 by creating the structures and processes necessary to engage local and regional employers and civic leaders in supporting and co-owning the overall K-12 transformation.


Ford NGL communities have demonstrated success through higher graduation rates, increased academic achievement, lower dropout rates, and industry certifications earned in high school. Districts in the Ford NGL network have shown increased student engagement at both the high school and postsecondary levels, developing more robust ties between educators and local employers, generating a stronger talent-development pipeline for high-demand careers, and boosting community prosperity.


Through the Ford NGL process, districts and their communities become partners and align their resources to improve student outcomes and support the region’s workforce and economic development needs.

About Ford Motor Company Fund

As the global philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, Ford Fund focuses on providing access to essential services, education for the future of work and entrepreneurship opportunities for under-resourced and underrepresented communities. Ford Fund’s partnerships and programming are designed to be responsive to unique community needs, ensuring people have equitable opportunities to move forward. Harnessing Ford’s scale, resources and mobility expertise, Ford Fund drives meaningful impact through grantmaking, Ford Community Centers and employee volunteerism. For more information, visit fordfund.org or join us at @FordFund on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter