CHICAGO – Since 2004, Larry T. Brown and his wife, Angelina D. Brown, have awarded college scholarships to high school seniors from Providence St. Mel School, a K-12 private school located on Chicago’s west side.
As Ambassadors of the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation, Brown and his wife, a school trustee, created an annual scholarship competition that includes an essay writing contest followed by face-to-face interviews with the finalists. Applicants are also evaluated on their grade point average, ACT scores, attendance and extracurricular activities.
Typically, Brown selects three to five students out of about 50 applicants each year to receive the scholarships, which range from $1,000 to $2,000. Scholarship amounts also vary based on a student’s financial needs, he said. To date, Brown has awarded more than 50 scholarships, which also include his own financial contributions to the program.
Brown, who serves on the NADA Foundation board of trustees, first learned about the school after being assigned as “Teacher for a Day” about 10 years ago and was impressed by the school’s mission. One hundred percent of the seniors are accepted into college programs, he said.
“I like what they do because it’s all about the students,” said Brown, a former board member of the National Automobile Dealers Association. “Through hard work and discipline, students have an opportunity to succeed.””
In addition to naming himself and wife as NADA Foundation Ambassadors, Brown has established ambassadorships in memory of Mattie L. Brown (mother), Nander Brown, Sr. (father), Candus Caldwell (mother-in-law), as well as his real estate company. As a six-time Ambassador, Brown is eligible to provide $4,000 grants in scholarships every year in perpetuity. He is currently working on his seventh ambassadorship. Brown recently named Ottawa Auto Spa, a full-service car wash and detailing facility he owns in Ottawa, Ill., as an Ambassador.
“Selecting Ambassadors for the program, such as family members, is a great way to recognize people who were significant in my life,” Brown said. “I come from a large family and wanted to recognize those who have contributed to my success in the car business.”
To become an NADA Foundation Ambassador, a dealer, company, association or individual makes a tax-deductible contribution of $10,000 in their name or in recognition of a loved one, living or deceased. Ambassadors are then eligible to provide $1,500 grants every three years in perpetuity. Benefactors with three gifts of $10,000 to the program receive the title, Ambassadors of Distinction, and can present $2,000 grants every year in perpetuity.
“My recommendation to those interested in the Ambassadors program is to take a look at who’s been there for you,” he added. “There is no better way to honor their memory and legacy than naming them as an Ambassador.”
The NADA Foundation’s Ambassadors Program
Today, there are 578 Ambassadors who provide about $250,000 to organizations each year in the public or private sector, supporting a variety of causes from emergency medical services and education to job training for adults with disabilities. This year, 135 Ambassadors will present grants to organizations of their choice. To date, more than $1 million has been donated to organizations across the country through the program. For more information or to become an Ambassador, contact the NADA Foundation at (703) 821-7102 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation
The NADA Foundation, established in 1975, is the philanthropic arm of the National Automobile Dealers Association. Funds contributed by new-car and -truck dealers and friends of the industry provide financial support to schools, private colleges and universities, emergency disaster relief as well as community service programs. For more information, visit www.nada.org.