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ExxonMobil awards grants for students to intern at local nonprofits


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas -- Three local nonprofits – Education for Tomorrow Alliance (EfTA), Interfaith of The Woodlands and the Dispute Resolution Center of Montgomery County, Inc. (DRC-MC) – were fortunate to each receive a $2,750 grant from the ExxonMobil Foundation to hire an intern for 35 hours a week for eight weeks this summer.

Celebrating 20 years, the ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program awarded grants to 27 nonprofits in Harris County and 3 in Montgomery County this summer.

Eligible interns must be a rising sophomore, junior or senior college student who is not related to an ExxonMobil Board member or employee, and the interns must be returning to complete their education in the fall. The chosen interns, Savannah Martin for the DRC-MC, Katie Pavlas with EfTA, and Emily Brown with Interfaith of The Woodlands, must attend two professional development programs sponsored by ExxonMobil and one community service project with another local nonprofit agency during their internship. The Houston Food Bank hosted all 30 ExxonMobil interns on June 19. Closing ceremonies and the final professional development program is scheduled for July 26 at the ExxonMobil campus.

A kickoff and welcoming event was held June 1 for all the interns and their prospective nonprofit organizations at the United Way office in Houston. Truman T. Bell, Headquarters Community Relations Manager for ExxonMobil, welcomed the interns.

Khambrel Marshall of KPRC-TV Local 2 gave the keynote address emphasizing the importance of volunteerism in the community and was followed by an educational presentation by Jamie Belinne, Assistant Dean for Career Services at the University of Houston Bauer College of Business. Dean Belinne, author of the book, The Care and Feeding of Your Young Employees: A Manager’s Guide to Millennials and Gen Z, stressed the importance of understanding the variance of generations to maximize productivity in the work place.

“The ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program provides tremendous benefits to local non-profits by providing funding to hire extremely talented summer interns and offer additional services to the community that we would not otherwise have the funding to provide”, said Elaine Roberts, Executive Director of the (DRC-MC). “I am constantly amazed at the quality and dedication of students who participate in the ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program. For example, our summer intern, Savannah Martin, is a life-long resident of Montgomery County and an honor student at Texas A&M, and she will obtain her bachelor’s degree in communications in 2019. Homeschooled until she attended Lone Star College, Savannah interned with Representative Will Metcalf in 2017 and was the 2015 Montgomery County Fair Queen. Savannah is providing invaluable assistance to the DRC-MC to outreach to homeschooled students regarding the 2018 Conflict Resolution Day Bookmark Art Contest and to all parts of Montgomery County regarding the services that the DRC-MC has provided to the community since 1988”.

Savannah Martin also noted the benefits interns receive when they participate in the ExxonMobil Community Jobs Program.

“The opportunity to intern for the Dispute Resolution Center of Montgomery County, Inc. (DRC-MC) through the ExxonMobil Summer Community Jobs Program has already blessed me in so many ways, and I am eternally grateful for the experience. Throughout these past two weeks, I have had the privilege of going to different Montgomery County courts as well as observing mediations. This has allowed me to see the vast difference between the two and the importance of what we do here at the DRC-MC by providing high-quality, affordable conflict resolution services and training as an alternative to litigation. During this short period of time, I have already gained new skills, and I look forward to continuing to learn and serve my hometown in the upcoming weeks.”

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