PONTIAC, Mich., April 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — More than 130 volunteers from AkzoNobel, Leaders of the Future and residents from around Oakland County came together in Pontiac this past weekend for Perfect the Parks, a program to clean up, beautify and update equipment at four parks across the city – Aaron Perry, Rotary, Murphy and Cherrylawn.
This is the first community project in Pontiac funded by AkzoNobel’s Human Cities initiative following the company’s announcement in December 2016 that it was giving a $100,000 grant to Leaders of the Future to support its efforts to help make Pontiac residents’ lives more livable and inspiring by funding community projects and providing scholarships for participating students.
In December 2016, AkzoNobel announced a $100,000 grant to Leaders of the Future, a youth leadership incubator in Pontiac, MI. More than 130 volunteers showed up on Saturday, April 15 to participate in Perfect the Parks, the first community project funded by the grant.
“Through the Human Cities initiative at AkzoNobel, we help to energize and rejuvenate urban centers around the world. There is great synergy with the Leaders of the Future, which is working to do exactly that in Pontiac. AkzoNobel has had a presence in Pontiac dating back to 1902, and while we’ve experienced some great times at the height of the automotive industry, the city needs help now. We are excited to partner with Leaders to take a proactive role in bringing our city back,” says Michelle Richards, AkzoNobel Site Manager in Pontiac and Leaders of the Future Board Member.
Students from Leaders of the Future and employees from AkzoNobel were working alongside each other, cleaning, landscaping and updating equipment at each park. Meanwhile, a new mural was installed at Aaron Perry Park by Detroit artist Anthony Lee, who designed the 4 ft. by 8 ft. mural in Diego Rivera style to create an artistic representation of Pontiac residents who live near and love the park. A new artistic sign will also welcome visitors to Murphy Park, with letters in the word Pontiac painted in an automotive motif to pay homage to the city’s rich automotive history.
Leaders of the Future was co-founded by CEO Anders Engnell, a student at Oakland University. The group is a youth leadership incubator comprised of 60 high school and college students from Pontiac who are taking a proactive role to rejuvenate the city.
“With Perfect the Parks, we are working together to improve our parks and make them more enjoyable for residents, but it’s only the beginning,” says Engnell. “Over the coming months, with the support from AkzoNobel, we will plant a new orchard, build an apiary, convert unused space into a community backyard, create a new city garden and more. It’s going to be a very productive summer, and we all look forward to how our combined efforts will benefit the city.”
AkzoNobel employs nearly 5,000 people across 45 sites in North America, with its regional headquarters in Chicago. At its Pontiac and Troy, Michigan, sites, the company employs more than 300 people supporting customers in the automotive industry.
For more information, visit www.akzonobel.com.
AkzoNobel creates everyday essentials to make people’s lives more livable and inspiring. As a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals, we supply essential ingredients, essential protection and essential color to industries and consumers worldwide. Backed by a pioneering heritage, our innovative products and sustainable technologies are designed to meet the growing demands of our fast-changing planet, while making life easier. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we have approximately 46,000 people in around 80 countries, while our portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International, Interpon and Eka. Consistently ranked as a leader in sustainability, we are dedicated to energizing cities and communities while creating a protected, colorful world where life is improved by what we do.
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