- Freedom Ford in Melbourne, Arkansas and Covert Chevrolet Buick GMC in Bastrop, Texas are examples of dealerships that reward high school students for academic excellence.
- The prizes: A 2014 Ford Mustang and a 2014 Chevrolet Spark.
- Freedom Ford also handed out four scholarships to a local community college.
Freedom Ford in Melbourne, Arkansas, hosted its third annual Strive to Drive, a year-long promotion that gave students a chance to win a 2014 Ford Mustang, a scholarship to a local community college and a $2,500 prize for the Mustang winner's most inspirational teacher.
Seniors from area high schools who brought in their report card at the end of each nine-week marking period received three contest entries for each A, and one entry for each B and for perfect attendance. Fifteen finalists were randomly chosen to receive a key. The lucky one would start the engine. Charles Paul Stovall of Highland High School, who is entering the U.S. Air Force, held that key.
In Bastrop, Texas, senior Kendall Hudson was the 11th person in line to receive a key from Covert Chevrolet Buick GMC. She qualified for the Spark giveaway by having perfect attendance, completing at least 30 hours of community service, taking the ACT or SATs, applying for college and passing all her classes.
"I have a high regard for education and that's why we do this promotion," Jack Yancey, co-owner of Freedom Ford and a former teacher, told Edmunds. "Anything we can do to help education, we gladly do because we like to get involved in the community."
Yancey also knows the promotion has long-term benefits, as people associate the dealership with good times because of the contest. He's even sold cars to guests attending the previous two Strive to Drive promotions.
The potential for future customers is great as well.
"I realize that a lot of the kids probably have never set foot in a dealership before and when it comes time to buy their first car, they will recall that first experience," Yancey said.
Edmunds says: A pair of dealerships gives new meaning to investing in education.