Brittany Ford, '05

CCP program gives a head start for an international career

I found high school difficult but I loved the transition to greater independence when I went to Terra State

From KidsCollege to College Credit Plus classes, Terra State has been a part of Brittany Ford’s childhood and teenage years. Now, as an international professional, she remembers Terra State being the head start necessary to launch her successful career.

Ford, a 2000 graduate of Fremont Ross High School, remembers enjoying American Sign Language classes through the Kern Center’s KidsCollege program when she was 12. A few years later, she enrolled as a CCP student. She continued taking classes and transferred her credits to Eastern Michigan University to word towards her bachelor’s degree.

In 2005, Ford graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History with a minor in psychology. She received a Master of Arts in International Educational Development from Teachers College at Columbia University in 2008. She is currently working towards completing a Certificate in Public Policy Analysis from the London School of Economics.

She chose Terra State to take CCP classes because it was a free option to put her in a mindset to start her education career after high school. Her parents are also alumni of Terra State.

“I found high school difficult but I loved the transition to greater independence when I went to Terra State,” said Ford, “…Terra State was a great on-ramp as I wasn’t a great high school student so it helped me transition to a higher pressure university environment.” 

Ford served the Lucas County Commissioners office for seven years as a policy analyst and project manager. She helped develop the cross-sector local initiative for immigrant and refugee inclusion: Welcome Toledo-Lucas County. In 2019, she led a project for Lucas County to be the second county in the U.S. to become Certified Welcoming, an assessment for immigrant and refugee-serving best practices by national non-profit Welcoming America.

Ford currently works and lives in Germany, where she is a Bosch Transatlantic Fellow for Public Policy and Migration with the Robert Bosch Stiftung, a foundation within the Bosch Corporation. While living abroad through the nine-month program, she has studied German as well as is in the process of completing a research placement with the International Center for Policy Advocacy (ICPA), a Berlin based non-governmental organization. Her other experience includes non-profit administration and direct services in Toledo and New York City.

“My project with ICPA is to research best practices for public campaigns in Germany and Europe to reduce racism and Islamophobia at the city and local level. Similar to the U.S., Germany and Europe are seeing major demographic shifts due to migration and declining birth rates so there is a lot of work to do  to support local communities towards inclusion and social cohesion of diverse groups,” said Ford.


Brittany Ford

When she was working in Toledo, Ford was actively involved in her community. She spent time with Toledo Sister Cities International as a Mayor-appointed board member, as an Ohio Theatre and Event Center board member, political campaign volunteer and executive committee member for the Lucas County Democratic Party and was a Mayor appointee to the City of Toledo Police-Community Relations and Reform Task Force last year.

In 2020, Ford was recognized as a 20 Under 40 award recipient through Leadership Toledo. This award recognizes 20 successful individuals in the Northwest Ohio community that are under 40 years old.

“I have been heavily influenced for community service by both of my grandmothers who were big volunteers in the Fremont and Clyde communities,” said Ford.

Her one grandmother was Barbara Tuckerman, former Sandusky County Board of Elections Director and long-time Democratic Party Chair. She remembers never having a holiday as a kid where she was not walking in a parade for the Democratic Party. Ford’s other grandmother, Elizabeth Skeels, was a long-time volunteer for local non-profits including Fremont Memorial Hospital, Hospice of Sandusky County, Flat Rock Care Center and the City of Clyde Arbor Committee. Her Grandmother Skeels received a key from the City of Clyde for her volunteer service.

“Both have passed away in recent years but they were huge influences in my life in terms of passion for community and their sense of right and wrong,” said Ford.

Ford has been able to keep in touch with classmates through social media, especially LinkedIn. She had a great friend, Nate Brahier, who encouraged her to take CCP classes and influenced her thereafter. Nate passed away in 2011 and was a graduate of Terra State.

She encourages others to consider continuing their education at Terra State. Community colleges serves as a great option to improve skills that also helps to reduce a student’s overall student debt.

“I was a political and social science student and if I could do things over, I would do a much more practical degree at Terra State in an in-demand job in health care, accounting or with computers. Then, transition into the non-profit and public service work that I like to do. The market in my field is very competitive and the organizations I work with often need these in-demand workers too,” said Ford.