DETROIT – ExxonMobil, in conjunction with Dr. Bernard Harris and The Harris Foundation, announced today the schedule for the second year of “The Dream Tour.” The “Tour” is a program designed to help middle school students across the country, reach their potential through the power of strong math and science skills, and provides improved tools for teachers to use to create engaging classroom activities. Dr. Harris made the formal announcement while speaking to 500 students at Brenda M. Scott Middle School in Detroit. He is the first African-American astronaut to walk in space and gave students and teachers a real lesson about the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics from both the medical and aerospace points of view.
The Scott program included an interactive and inspirational presentation by Dr. Harris, a demonstration about space, and engaging dialogue about achieving goals. “America’s students have incredible opportunities to take on careers that haven’t even been created yet. “The Dream Tour” is one way to open their eyes to the limitless possibilities they have in their hands as long as math and science education is part of the equation,” said Dr. Harris.
Because of the unique nature of the academic program at Davis Aerospace High School, Dr. Harris graciously extended his time to include a last minute visit to the school. He spoke to over 100 students about defining and achieving their dreams, toured the hangar that holds the school’s fleet of aircraft, and met many students along with some of the world-famous Tuskegee Airmen. Dr. Harris also presented the school with autographed photos that will be auctioned off during a school fundraiser that will help expand the aviation flight and mechanics programs.
From humble beginnings in San Antonio to making history as the first African American to walk in space, Dr. Harris is a living example of setting and achieving high goals. His personal story provides a powerful backdrop for taking his message to students in cities across America.
In 2008, the inaugural year of The Dream Tour, Dr. Harris encouraged more than 7,500 middle school students in Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, St. Louis, and Washington, DC.
In this its second year, The Dream Tour will also visit Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Miami, Mobile, Oakland and Seattle as Dr. Harris continues to motivate and inspire students to master math and science.
“ExxonMobil is focused on the need to attract more of America’s students to higher level math and science courses in secondary school. The classes they choose today can make or break their options for the future, and ‘The Dream Tour, presented by ExxonMobil,’ is one way to expose them to the possibilities,” said Gerald McElvy, President, ExxonMobil Foundation.
For more information about the Dream Tour or Dr. Harris, please visit www.theharrisfoundation.org
About ExxonMobil Foundation
ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of the Exxon Mobil Corporation in the United States. The Foundation and the Corporation engage in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, health and science in the communities where ExxonMobil has significant operations. In the United States, ExxonMobil supports initiatives to improve math and science education at the K-12 and higher education levels.
Globally, ExxonMobil provides funding to improve basic education and combat malaria and other infectious diseases in developing countries. In 2008, together with its employees and retirees, Exxon Mobil Corporation, its divisions and affiliates, and ExxonMobil Foundation provided $225 million in contributions worldwide, of which more than $89 million was dedicated to education. Additional information on ExxonMobil’s community partnerships and contributions programs is available at www.exxonmobil.com/community.
About The Harris Foundation
Founded in 1998, The Harris Foundation is a 501 (c) (3), non-profit organization based in Houston, Texas, whose overall mission is to invest in community-based initiatives to support education, health and wealth. The foundation supports programs that empower individuals, in particular minorities and economically and/or socially disadvantaged, to recognize their potential and pursue their dreams.
The Education Mission of the Harris Foundation is to enable youth to develop and achieve their full potential through the support of social, recreational, and educational programs for grades K-12. Through three primary initiatives- The DREAM Tour, the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp and Dare to Dream-the foundation encourages math and science education, motivates youth to stay in school, fosters youth leadership and citizenship, as well as instills the values of responsibility, fairness and respect.
The Harris Foundation believes that students can be prepared now for the careers of the future through a structured education program and the use of positive role models. To date, more than 10,000 K-12 students have participated and benefited from THF programs. www.theharrisfoundation.org
# # #