SDSU students compete in Ford Ambassador Challenge


by Christine Whitman, Senior Staff Writer

Four San Diego State students recently entered the national Ford College Ambassador Challenge in hopes of donating event winnings to the upcoming Aztec Dance Marathon.

Each group of students in the competition must complete three challenges to win first prize, which includes an internship with Ford Motor Co., a networking experience at Ford World Headquarters and $500.

“We thought there would be more value to both the students and ourselves if we donated to Aztec Dance Marathon instead of another organization,” international business junior and SDSU team member Eduardo Frias said.

Frias was elected as an SDSU representative from a pool of more than 100 applicants. Once elected, he chose the other three members of his team from students involved in the Hispanic Business Association — Maritza Velazquez, Javier Gonzalez and Cynthia Medina.

“Once I found out early October that I was selected to participate in the challenge, the tasks just came pouring in,” Frias said.

The students are competing under the alias Fantastic Ford against groups of students from eight other schools: Howard University, Boston University, Florida State, Purdue University, Michigan State, University of Illinois, Rutgers University and Pennsylvania State.

Fantastic Ford has already spent more than 80 hours working on competition challenges, among regular school activities.

Each challenge is scored with a value between one and nine out of the nine teams competing. The first-place team in each challenge receives nine points, and the last-place team gets one point. At the end, the school with the most points wins.

The first challenge, a viral video, must promote SDSU, as well as showcase a Ford vehicle. The viral video that receives the most votes wins the first challenge. Students are able to vote every day, once a day, until Nov. 20.

“We had issues with Zipcar providing us with the right car, causing us to change our theme of the video involving the Ford Focus,” Velazquez said. “But the most difficult thing surrounding the video was trying to capture everything we needed within 15 seconds.”

The second challenge is to promote an event for which students partner up with Ford and Zipcar. For every student that test drives the Zipcar, Ford will donate $20 per test driver to Aztec Dance Marathon, with a maximum cap of $2,000. Students must register online and attend the event for each $20 to be donated.

Fantastic Ford’s second event will be held Monday, Nov. 2, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Parking Lot S.  Students can RSVP here