GM Foundation: Press Release

GM Foundation to be Lead Sponsor of NBC News’ ‘Education Nation Detroit’

DETROIT– To underscore its commitment to improving education in America, the General Motors Foundation will be a lead sponsor of the Detroit stop of the NBC News’ “Education Nation On-The-Road” that begins March 22.

The NBC News team will gather educators, community leaders and students at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History to discuss the pivotal issues and inspiring solutions impacting education in the region.

Mary Barra, GM’s senior vice president of Global Product Development, will sit on a panel with local business leaders to discuss the 21st century workforce and the importance of educating Michigan’s students to compete in a global economy. Other sessions will include “K-12: New Choices in Changing Times,” a panel on early childhood education, a Teacher Town Hall and a Student Town Hall.

“Education is the primary area of focus for the GM Foundation and NBC News’ Education Nation On-the-Road provides a forum for us to join key stakeholders to share best practices and inspire real, systemic change in our schools,” said GM Foundation President Vivian Pickard. “From birth through college, the GM Foundation is committed to improving education and changing the lives of students.”
In 2010, the GM Foundation pledged $27.1 million to United Way for Southeastern Michigan to establish a “Network of Excellence” in seven Detroit-area high schools. The grant is infusing science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, into curricula, and aims to improve graduation rates from roughly 50 percent to 80 percent over five years. The Education Achievement Authority has become active in two of the schools and, in those schools, funding will continue in support of Education Achievement Authority programming.

“Education Nation is shining a spotlight on the issues the GM Foundation and United Way for Southeastern Michigan are addressing locally as we work to improve educational levels in greater Detroit,” said Michael J. Brennan, president and CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “We look forward to sharing our thought leadership, innovations and powerful success stories with the rest of the nation.”

In addition to the “Network of Excellence,” the GM Foundation funds the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program - one of the largest scholarship programs in the country. Since its inception in 2011, Buick Achievers has provided nearly $12 million to students heading to college to study STEM fields, as well as those related to the auto industry. Many of the recipients are the first in their families to pursue a secondary education. The GM Foundation also provides approximately $3 million to colleges and professional organizations through its annual University Grants program.

For more information about the GM Foundation, please visit More information on Education Nation can be found at

About Education Nation
Education Nation seeks to create a thoughtful, well-informed dialogue with policymakers, thought-leaders, educators, parents and the public, in pursuit of the shared goal of providing every American with an opportunity to achieve the best education in the world. During each week of “Education Nation On-The-Road,” NBC News and affiliate stations will air local education stories and provide coverage of “Education Nation.” Online, will live stream all events and host more detailed information on the tour.

About the General Motors Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, Environment and Energy and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates.  Funding of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM.  The last contribution to the GM Foundation was made in 2001. For more information, visit

About United Way for Southeastern Michigan
United Way for Southeastern Michigan mobilizes the caring power of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to improve lives in measurable and lasting ways throughout the region. The organization is led by a diverse group of volunteers from business, labor, government, human services, education and the community. United Way provides opportunities to invest in the metropolitan Detroit community through its annual Campaign and is a leader in convening partners to impact local residents each year by increasing economic self-sufficiency, protecting children and youth at risk, strengthening families, empowering neighborhoods and communities, and promoting health and wellness. Additional information is available at


Maria Mainville                                                               
GM Foundation Communications