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    Circle K, ExxonMobil, Chevron Focus on Community

    Companies launch programs to better youth and education.

    NEW YORK -- One convenience chain and two energy firms unveiled corporate responsibility programs recently: Circle K Arizona stores began a promotion to benefit the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation (UCP), while Chevron gave $20,000 to a California concert, and ExxonMobil opened applications to its summer internship program and unveiled a science camp program for youth.

    In celebration of the 7th Annual Circle K Tempe Music Festival, Alimentation Couche-Tard's Circle K convenience stores in Arizona partnered with area radio station Peak 98.7 FM to give consumers the opportunity to win a Harley Davidson motorcycle, as well as backstage passes to the festival. All proceeds will benefit United Cerebral Palsy Foundation (UCP).

    Until March 30, Circle K Stores in the area will encourage customers to donate $1 to receive an entry form for a chance to win. Entry forms must be filled out and postmarked by March 30, to be eligible to win.

    The winners will be selected through a random drawing on April 2. Five qualifiers will get the chance to win the Harley Davidson, and each will receive a pair of admission tickets and backstage passes to the April 4, festival.

    Performing at the festival will be Kid Rock with Cowboy Mouth, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers; The Outlaws; 3 Doors Down; The All American Rejects; Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman of Rage Against the Machine; MUTEMATH and Shiny Toy Guns.

    Over the years, the promotion has helped Circle K to raise more than $400,000 for the UCP.

    In other charitable giving news, Chevron donated $20,000 to the Bakersfield College in California, to support a program that prepares math and science students from historically underperforming groups to succeed, the Bakersfield Californian reported.

    The gift will specifically benefit the college’s Week Zero project, a college survival program to prepare students the week before fall semester begins, according to the report. Week Zero is part of the college’s Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement program that serves 200 Bakersfield College students.

    Meanwhile, ExxonMobil and Volunteer Houston opened the application period for ExxonMobil’s 2009 Community Summer Jobs Program, which offers 65 summer internships to students at local nonprofit agencies in the Houston area, according to the energy giant.

    "There is an increased movement toward volunteering and a greater appreciation for this type of experience in today’s marketplace. This ExxonMobil program offers a rare opportunity for college students to work in a nonprofit and be paid for that invaluable experience," Neil Chapman, president of ExxonMobil Global Services Co., said in a statement. "We believe strongly in supporting our local nonprofits and this is just one of the many programs we foster to do just that."

    The program, now in its 12th year, enables selected agencies to hire a college student for an eight-week internship to assist with workload and low staffing. In addition to their regular job responsibilities, interns will attend development seminars designed to broaden exposure to the nonprofit sector, volunteerism and community needs, the company stated. ExxonMobil will provide grants totaling more than $211,250 for intern salaries and expenses associated with the program this year.

    "This ExxonMobil program continues to be one of the highlights of our year and has been for the last 12 years," Carrie Moffitt, CEO of Volunteer Houston, said in a statement. "Thanks to the Community Summer Jobs Program, we find that a number of college graduates decide to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector. Others go on to volunteer and encourage their friends and family to do the same, providing a positive ripple effect in our community."

    Interns will be selected by the participating agencies, but must be currently enrolled as a full-time, undergraduate student who will return to college as a full-time sophomore, junior or senior student in the fall of 2009.

    Interested students may contact the selected agencies directly. For a list of participating agencies, visit Volunteer Houston’s Web site at www.volunteerhouston.org.

    In other ExxonMobil giving news, the company partnered with Dr. Bernard Harris and the Harris Foundation to expand the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp program to 30 residential camps and include participation by 11 new universities, the company stated.

    The two-week, free camps are designed to provide a fun-filled setting for under-privileged middle school students across the U.S., to gain a deeper understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. More than 1,500 students will take part in the 2009 camps and explore themes such as "Mission to Mars," "Revolutionary Robotics," and "Energy and Motion."

    Dr. Harris, a former NASA astronaut and the first African American to walk in space, created the camps four years ago with support from ExxonMobil.

    "The success of this program is due to the support from ExxonMobil and our partnership with renowned universities across the country," Dr. Harris said in a statement. "It’s rewarding to realize how many kids we can reach by providing a new and fun experience involving science while raising awareness about math and science careers."

    Students attend daily classes in natural science, engineering, mathematics and technology, taught by faculty of participating universities and secondary classroom teachers who also receive professional development training.

    "ExxonMobil is dedicated to supporting programs that generate interest in math and science education and provide career options for students," Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp., said in a statement.

    To apply to attend the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camps, students must be academically qualified, genuinely interested in mathematics and science, and be recommended by two teachers. More information about eligibility and selection criteria can be found at www.theharrisfoundation.org.

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