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IRVING, Texas -- In conjunction with the ExxonMobil Green Team campaign, 40 Green Team high school students participated in hands-on environmental-centric learning stations set up by the Dallas Zoo. This marks the 27th year that the city of Dallas supports environmental service projects, which benefit partnering nonprofit agencies, and includes a nature walk through the grounds of ExxonMobil's headquarters to learn about native plants and animals.
Since its launch in 1981, ExxonMobil has invested more than $6.1 million in the Dallas program reaching approximately 3,350 students.
"The ExxonMobil Green Team presents a unique opportunity for high school students to gain professional experience and take college-level courses, while learning about the environment, their community and the role nonprofit organizations play in both of those areas," Truman Bell, senior program officer for education and diversity, said in a statement.
Also, ExxonMobil Foundation said in a released statement, "We hope this program inspires the students to achieve their educational goals and lays the foundation for continued involvement as leaders in the community."
Bell explained the Green Team provides a meaningful work experience and educational opportunities for Dallas area high school students from low-to moderate-income families. Students are placed with local nonprofits for eight weeks, where they work in teams of four to six on environmental and conservation projects including research, education and public awareness campaigns, he noted.
In addition to their work experience, students also receive weekly instruction from the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and attend classes in career exploration, leadership development and environmental engineering. On Fridays, the Green Team, administered by the Volunteer Center of North Texas, participates in educational field trips and activities with an environmental focus. With a grant of approximately $190,000 from ExxonMobil, students are paid for all time spent in the program.
"We are excited to expand our partnership with ExxonMobil as them administrator of the Green Team program this year," Phyllis Bernstein, chair of the Volunteer Center of North Texas' Dallas County Council on Volunteerism, said in a released statement. "We know the talents of these students will be invaluable to the agencies they are working with and we are eager to see the impact their work has on the community this summer."