What if we worked together to create a whole generation of innovators and lifelong learners, people with the tools and capacity to empathize, ideate, create and adapt when facing a challenge at school, in their community, at work, or in everyday life?


At HFLI, we continue to work relentlessly with our partners to make a difference in the future for thousands of young people and their urban communities by supporting and sustaining work with teachers and students at Henry Ford Academies so that our graduates are prepared to succeed in college, pursue a career of choice and address challenges with innovative thinking. And now, we are advancing our commitment to redesign how people learn by sharing and evolving our model of success with schools, communities and businesses around the world.


“Design Thinking inspires scholars to use their creativity and innovation to make the world better in powerful ways. The scholars really take ownership of their role as problem solvers within the community.”

Lindsey Barrett

2nd Grade Teacher, Detroit

“Thank you for an amazing week of training. My team was awesome and my coworkers and I are so excited to go back and share all of the wonderful ideas with our school.”

Kathleen Lester

Swansboro Elementary, NC

“It makes me think and feel like an entrepreneur.”

Jalyn B. ‘16



We rely on progressive, open-minded individuals, foundations and companies to provide financial support that closes the gap between workshop fees and per-pupil state funding, and the real costs to drive the kind of visionary change we imagine and the mindsets we help learners develop.
These organizations have provided financial support to plan, launch and sustain our schools, develop our innovation-based K-12 curriculum, build HFLI capacity, mobilize communities around 21st century skills development, pilot tools for better ways of learning, and more:


We search out visionary partners to help us redesign how people learn. Leading educational and cultural organizations have joined HFLI to create unique schools and learning experiences that can only happen through a spirit of collaboration, the conviction that there are new and better ways of learning, and the desire and drive to create a brighter future.

Join Us

We can’t do it without you. Connections and collaborations with people and organizations are critical to finding new and better ways of learning, developing and sustaining our organizational capacity, and bringing fresh thinking to schools, communities and workplaces across the country.






We nurture and grow our relationships – with local business owners who give Henry Ford Academy students the opportunity to complete an internship in a real workplace, an urban farmer who helps a 7th grade class understand the real issues behind a neighborhood problem, an entrepreneur who invites a group of teens to develop a potential new product for his company, like-minded institutions that believe in breaking down barriers to creativity and innovation, and our donors who trust us to be a living example of their principles through their financial gifts.

Henry Ford Learning Institute (HFLI) is a recognized as a public charity under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations to HFLI are deductible to the full extent allowed by law. EIN #38-3463866

If you would like to discuss your donation or support a specific Henry Ford Academy, please contact Kimberly Watts directly at kwatts@hfli.org or 313.590.7632 to start a conversation.

Get Involved


Gain recognition for your creative, innovation-driven business. Sponsor events, such the annual Night of the Arts at our Henry Ford Academies in Detroit and San Antonio, Design Thinking workshops and fellowships, and projects like a school-based community garden or play structure.


Create a legacy and a direct investment in the lives of others. Establish or contribute to a scholarship fund that gives a Henry Ford Academy graduate the opportunity to attend college or a teacher the opportunity to grow professionally.

In-Kind Support

Share your abundant resources. HFLI and our schools welcome donations of goods and services that support our work—from technology and materials, to services and consulting, to experiences and opportunities for our program participants.


Give your time and expertise. Provide an internship at your workplace or become a guest speaker on a career, community issue or topic you know inside and out.

Please email kwatts@hfli.org or call 313.590.7632 to discuss sponsorship, scholarship and in-kind support opportunities.