Extending Our “REACH” to Shanghai Students
Air Products is partnering with the Hong Kong-based Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation (CWEF) to develop and deliver four courses to Shanghai youth. The courses are part of the REACH (Resiliency Education: Advocacy, Collaboration & Hope) education program to develop teenagers’ strengths through nontraditional but important subjects.
This year, team members from our Asia Energy and Materials (E&M), Human Resources, Merchant Gases and Global Engineering & Manufacturing (GEM) teams volunteered to teach four courses covering the topics of Self Image, Managing Emotions, Team Building and Leadership.
The students were treated to engaging and team-based exercises to build their skills in these critical areas. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive: 92 percent of students surveyed said they “feel good about my future” after attending the courses. With results such as this, Air Products is going to build on this year’s success and continue the program in the 2013–2014 school year.
Both Air Products and CWEF believe in a better future, REACH provided a fun and meaningful way to help empower these students to seize it. Their passion, desire for learning and smiles inspired all of us at Air Products. Working with the next generation, seeing their leadership potential in action reassures us about our collective future.
SkillsUSA and WorldSkills
SkillsUSA and WorldSkills is a global partnership that provides cutting-edge training and leadership development to career and technical students to prepare them for today's highly skilled workforce. In the United States, SkillsUSA and Air Products partner to develop thousands of high school and college students in over 100 career areas. WorldSkills is the largest international skills competition, with over 1,000 competitors from fifty nations competing in 45 disciplines.
And Air Products is proud to be a corporate sponsor by providing resources including active employee engagement, financial support, mentoring for students and teachers and ongoing leadership for SkillsUSA and WorldSkills.
Mentoring Buddy Program
Air Products employees in Texas, Indiana, and Pennsylvania volunteer their time every week to mentor an elementary student at a local school. Each year over 100 employees dedicate an hour a week and share one-on-one time with their buddy. The students who participate are selected by the school because they have some special needs with home or school including academic, family or social struggles. The Mentoring Programs are different in each state, but include a weekly breakfast or lunchtime visit at the school.
Children need a positive and caring adult in their lives, and the Air Products Mentoring Buddy program allows volunteers to reach out and show kids how much they are valued. Air Products volunteers involved as mentors have the opportunity to be a wonderful and powerful role model for the students in need. The children are improving academically and socially as a result of the mentoring and friendship.
National Backpack Drive
While it’s sad to see warm weather go, back-to-school time is exciting for kids. But for parents in disadvantaged families, August can be a stressful month. The prospect of purchasing school items on a limited budget is daunting. In 2010, Air Products’ Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Teams, North American Gases, and Global Operations Americas, in partnership with United Way, stepped in to help.
The teams coordinated a massive effort to give needy students one very important bit of equipment — a backpack in which to tote the tools for learning. The National Backpack Collection Drive ran from 15-30 August at 51 different Air Products sites in the U.S. and Canada. Their mission: identify a school in their community with an underprivileged student population and collect enough new and gently-used backpacks to ensure kids each had one for the first day of school.
Sports Facilities Renovated by Science Ambassadors in Poland
Air Products opened outdoor sports facilities at Primary School in Kędzierzyn Koźle which it renovated after they were destroyed during a recent flood. The employees voluntarily helped to restore parts of the school fields, and the company provided financial support in celebration of the volunteer work. The Primary school suffered damage as a result of a devastating flood with water levels of up to 80 cm/2.6 ft which meant that the facility was completely unfit for use by the students.
Air Products is planning long-term collaboration with Primary School No 12 in Kędzierzyn-Koźle as part of its global "Science Ambassadors” programme. Employees volunteer their time to present hands-on activities and demonstrations, while sharing their knowledge and passion for science. The aim of the programme is to increase childrens' interest in sciences such as chemistry, physics and maths, which will inspire them toward careers in science.