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Posted by Ghani on June 26, 2020
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Since the inception of NBEF’s Scholarship Program in 2007, the organization has awarded hundreds of college scholarships to New Brunswick High School and New Brunswick Health Sciences Technology High School graduates totaling $606,700.00.

NBEF scholarships would not be possible without the generosity of numerous individuals, alumni, community organizations and local businesses who have partnered with us to make a difference in the lives of New Brunswick youth. Thus, we are pleased to feature NBEF scholarship donors in this website series starting with JILL FORD who sponsored the Jessie Mae Ford Legacy Scholarship ($5,000.00 award) presented to a New Brunswick High School or New Brunswick Health Sciences Technology High School graduating senior.

JILL FORD is a Corporate Business Development Executive in the San Francisco Bay Area, proud graduate of New Brunswick High School’s Class of 1993, and 2011 inductee into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

Jill began her career as a Technology Consultant and Architect for Trilogy. Jill’s extensive experience in Business Development and Corporate Strategy includes her award winning work with Microsoft, Disney, and Motorola and her leadership of international business accelerating early stage companies in emerging countries such as Ghana. 

Globally spearheading corporate relationships with game publishers such as Electronic Arts and OEMs such as Samsung, Jill has directed the inclusion of games on mobile devices worldwide and guided the game play experiences of over 100 million consumers. Jill has introduced revenue sharing and profit driving business models into major corporations, eliminating millions of dollars of costs and replacing these with incoming revenue. 

Jill also served as Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s Head of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and was instrumental in transforming the city’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. Some of her specialties included: Specialties: AI, Robotics, and Mobility, Investing, Economic Development in Detroit, Innovative Program Design and Execution, and Community Engagement.

In 2017, Jill returned to San Francisco and joined Toyota AI Ventures as a Principal on their investment team. She is tasked with discovering promising new startups and supporting the growth of their portfolio companies.

When Jill is not negotiating corporate joint ventures or advising entrepreneurs, she enjoys karaoke, swing dancing, and being an aunt to her four nephews. Jill embraces global citizenship and has traveled to more than a dozen countries, starting with her first international trip to Japan as a member of the 1991 Sister Cities Delegation from New Brunswick High School.

Jill holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Harvard University and an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School of Business.

Of course, most cherished amongst Jill’s titles is the one she has always had: Jessie Mae’s granddaughter.


The Jessie Mae Ford Legacy Scholarship has offered an opportunity for each candidate to reflect upon how an elder has helped to shape them into the person they are today. A goal of the scholarship has been to support and accelerate the investment elders’ have made into our young people. Most importantly, the scholarship has served as a forum for students to recognize and appreciate the rare treasure of their grandparents and elder members of their community and the impact that these elders have had upon their lives. To be eligible, applicants have been required to submit reflections on an elder via essay, audio or video presentation.

Quote: Jill has served as a huge inspiration for what is possible for New Brunswick students to achieve. I am inspired by Jill’s natural generosity, which has driven her to create the Jessie Mae Ford Scholarship and help underserved entrepreneurs across the globe. Jill and the Jessie Mae Ford Scholarship have had a momentous impact on my life. I am proud to be the scholarship’s first recipient.

—- Zaire Julion
Recipient Year: 2011
College Graduation Year: 2015
College (Major/Minor): Johns Hopkins University (Political Science and
Current work: TV/Film development at Courtney Kemp’s (POWER)
production company, End of Episode.

The Jessie Mae Ford Scholarship strives to be more than just a scholarship. Thanks to NBEF, it is an ongoing network for its recipients. Below is a recent gathering of some of the scholarship’s recipients who who spoke about their college experiences and career goals.

(Pictured from left to right: Zaire Julion, Emmanuel Ford (NBEF Director), Duha Magzoub and Rosemary Veras)