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News ReleaseSurrey’s Young Apprentice – Raise £££’s for Local Charity

April 26, 2007 Lehigh Valley, Pa.

Award winning teacher, Stephen Cabrera, Business and Enterprise director at Rydens School has given his sixth form students the chance to become “The Young Apprentice 2007”. Using popular BBC show “The Apprentice” as inspiration, the project teaches students about business in the real world.

This week, the semi finals, led by Air Products with the help of local charity Wildlife Aid, were held at the Air Products office in Hersham, Surrey. The students' challenge was to raise as much money as possible for Wildlife Aid. Using some basic guidance from both organisations, the students had to show good communication, innovation, teamwork and leadership skills in order to impress the judges.

On Wednesday 25 th April, the students were given the opportunity to target Air Products employees with their fundraising tactics. They also spent time raising money at school in-between lessons. Employees at Air Products were impressed to see these up and coming individuals work hard to create a ‘buzz’ in the dining area. Hazel Harvey, administrator at Air Products commented, “The students were very energetic and it was great to see that they managed to charm many of the employees into taking part.”

Events included a darts competition, charity wrist bands sales, a raffle and ‘money art’. The students’ creative ideas and enthusiasm raised a remarkable £170, which Air Products doubled to £340.

At the end of a busy week of planning and hard work, the students sat before the panel of judges who included Wildlife Aid’s Simon Cowell (as Alan Sugar!), Mr Jackman, Headteacher at Rydens, and representatives from Air Products. The six students were reduced to three as half of the group were ‘fired’.

Alex Esson, Megan Gittins and Dil Hussain are the finalists who will face next round’s challenge in May. The winner of this year’s challenge will win a week’s work experience at Air Products and a brand new iPod.

Simon Cowell, co-founder of Wildlife Aid, added: “This task has given the students the opportunity to work with an international business and a high profile, local charity. The students managed to fullfill many of the expectations we set for them, but most importantly have raised an impressive sum for a great cause!”

Stephen Cabrera from Rydens said: “It’s a real advantage to have a global company such as Air Products involved in this project and it also fits in perfectly with Rydens specialist school status in Business and Enterprise. The student’s have had the opportunity to pitch and implement their ideas in a local, professional, business environment and will have gained some real life experience whilst raising lots of money for Wildlife Aid.”

Laura Watt, a semi finalist from the competition said: “We were really excited about this task, people at Air Products and Wildlife Aid put a lot of faith in us and I think we did them proud. We were all hoping to get through to the next round, but we are all friends so there won’t be any hard feelings.”

About Air Products

Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment and is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability and FTSE4Good Indices. The company has annual revenues of $9 billion, operations in over 40 countries, and over 20,000 employees around the globe. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com

About Wildlife Aid

The charity, which was opened in 1980 believes that wild animals belong in the wild, therefore our aim is to treat, care for, and then rehabilitate the patients back to their own environment as quickly as possible. Our TV series Wildlife SOS, which has now been broadcast for the past 11 years, provides us with a worldwide platform to communicate this message to the public. At Wildlife Aid, we believe passionately in the importance of education in helping to preserve our heritage. Through school talks, presentations, our website and many other mediums we play an active role in helping future generations understand and learn about the environmental issues that affect us all.

As a centre of excellence dealing with all native species, we receive thousands of phone calls, letters and e-mails asking for advice and help. From vets, schools, members of the public and other charities and organisations, we are always available to offer what help and support we can but without corporate supporters such as Air Products we could not continue our work. For more information visit: http://www.wildlifeaid.com.  

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