SEED Wayne founder Kami Pothukuchi receives Ford C3 Legacy Award

Mike Schmidt, Kami Pothukuchi, Farah Harb (coordinator of the Ford C3 program)
Mike Schmidt, Kami Pothukuchi, Farah Harb (coordinator of the Ford C3 program)

At an event to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Ford Motor Company's College Community Challenge (C3) grant program, SEED Wayne founder Kami Pothukuchi was recognized with a Ford C3 Legacy Award. She received a plaque and a check for $10,000 made to SEED Wayne.

In presenting the award, Mike Schmidt, Director for Education and Community Development, lauded SEED Wayne as exemplifying the program's goals and aspirations. Noting SEED Wayne's winning application in C3's inaugural round in 2008, he said, "We see the C3 grants as providing seed money with the hope that the projects will go on to become self-sustaining." Five projects each won $100,000 in that first round.

SEED Wayne bagged another C3 grant in 2013 to finance Student Advantage at Wayne State University Farmers Market, among other projects. In 2015, C3 funded tuition scholarships for students completing a SEED Wayne Fellowship. The Fellowship includes an internship with a community-based organization implemented under Pothukuchi's supervision.

Ford C3 applications are reviewed on four criteria: how the project builds student leadership, the extent to which it addresses an important community need, if it includes a sustainability dimension, and how it incorporates community partnerships.

Founded in 2008, SEED Wayne is a campus-community collaborative to build sustainable food systems on the campus of Wayne State University and in Detroit area neighborhoods.

"The C3 Legacy Award is a nice affirmation of our campus and community collaborations. It recognizes the leadership that students have displayed in all of our activities--the campus gardens, the farmers market, healthy corner stores, and others," said Pothukuchi.

After nine years of being operated by SEED Wayne, the Wayne State Farmers Market will be led jointly starting 2018 by the Center for Health and Community Impact and Office of Campus Sustainability. SEED Wayne's campus engagement projects are based in the Office of Campus Sustainability. The SEED Wayne Fellowship is housed in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

For information about SEED Wayne, please contact Kami Pothukuchi, or visit

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