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DALLAS -- ExxonMobil and the city of Dallas launched the 2007 ExxonMobil Green Team yesterday by breaking ground on the first of four new homes to be built in the historic Joppa neighborhood here, in partnership with the Dallas-area Habitat for Humanity.
"The ExxonMobil Green Team is unique because it allows us to reach out to Dallas youth and demonstrate the importance of making a difference in our community, while providing them with a summer job, educational opportunities and a paycheck," Fred Marshall, global community relations manager for ExxonMobil, said in a written statement.
This year marks the 26th year for the ExxonMobil Green Team in Dallas, which provides a summer work experience for 100 high-school students from low- to moderate-income homes, according to the company. The program will be supported by a $265,000 grant from the ExxonMobil Foundation.
"Over the next eight weeks, these students will learn the value of hard work while helping revitalize a neighborhood with so much historical significance in Dallas," Marshall added. "Our hope is that the experience gained by the participants this summer will inspire them to pursue higher education, achieve their goals and continue to be a positive force in the community."
The Dallas-area Habitat for Humanity will offer the students hands-on instruction as they build the four homes. Once completed, the homes will be sold to qualified applicants. Participants also will plan and work on a neighborhood recycling day, which will be part of a special week-long environmental project, in addition to environmentally focused, educational field trips, the company stated.
The ExxonMobil Green Team also allows participants to attend classes at the ExxonMobil Academy at El Centro College where they will receive instruction in mathematics, reading, writing and computer literacy. Students can receive college credit for coursework completed through the program, and can begin college careers during the summer. In addition, participants will earn a paycheck for time spent in the program, whether working or attending classes, according to the company.
"Over the past 26 years, the ExxonMobil Green Team has made a noticeable impact on Dallas: constructing homes for deserving families, helping keep our city parks clean and useable for all of our residents, and participating in a number of special projects throughout the city," Jerry Killingsworth, director of the City of Dallas Housing Department, said in a written statement.
Since the Dallas Green Team launch in 1981, ExxonMobil has invested more than $6 million. Upon completion of the 2007 program, the ExxonMobil Green Team will have reached more than 3,300 students, constructed 33 homes and completed numerous park improvements throughout Dallas.