Because of the generosity of Shell and its employees, United Way is engaging youth and young people in our community, with the hope of shaping tomorrow’s leaders.
Meet Jenny, a participant in United Way’s Mission Ignition initiative, where local high schools and students compete to complete the most service hours during a one-month period. Through Jenny's leadership, Mission Ignition is beginning to take on new life as a fully-integrated, student-led philanthropic education program. Jenny is currently serving on the board for the second year in a row and has shown leadership, innovation and deep work ethic in every assignment she has taken on. Jenny was chosen to work this summer as an intern at United Way of Southeast Louisiana and became an instrumental part of our staff. She developed and executed a suicide prevention and awareness assembly/program for her high school with United Way and our partner, VIALINK/211.
We asked Jenny to explain her desire to become an advocate for education and she said: "I believe that the education system today faces many challenges and obstacles. One of the main challenges is providing a sufficient education to students in low income families so that they may be able to succeed. Schools in poverty stricken areas are often lower performing schools because they do not receive the resources that they desperately need. Budget reforms should be made to enable these schools to receive the tools and supplies needed in order for students to receive the education they need and deserve because they are the future of our nation. More likely than not, the families of these children have gotten stuck in inter-generational cycles of poverty. If students are not provided with the right resources and environment to succeed, then they will remain in this poverty cycle."
Because of the exemplary passion and commitment she has shown to our community, to her school and fellow students, and to United Way's mission, Jenny has recently been selected by the US Department of Education to attend a seminar in Washington DC. Jenny is one of only a few dozen students from around the country that will join to raise awareness of global education challenges, identify education challenges in local communities and make a plan of action to address those challenges!
Shell contributions fund United Way’s Mission Ignition initiative and summer internship opportunities.