Benjamin Moore Empowers Students to Achieve College and Career Goals
March 24, 2014 /3BL Media/ - Recognizing the importance of preparing high school students to succeed in college and tomorrow’s workforce, employee volunteers from premium paint maker Benjamin Moore & Co. mentored high school students in the Bronx while painting and rehabilitating IS 80 on Saturday, March 22.
Through CBS EcoMedia’s EducationAd program, Benjamin Moore supported 50 students in Publicolor’s Next Steps Program, a life-changing, three-day-a-week college and career preparatory program for 11th and 12th graders and college students. Saturday’s event celebrated Benjamin Moore’s unique, long-term partnership with the nonprofit Publicolor. Since 1996, Benjamin Moore has donated every drop of paint used at Publicolor.
Publicolor’s mission is to counter New York City’s alarming low graduation rate by engaging disconnected and under-achieving students, ages 13-24, in their education through a continuum of design-based programs and academic support. Unique to Publicolor—and central to its mission—is the beautification and revitalization of public and civic spaces through the hard work of our students and the power of Benjamin Moore paint, as well as color and design, and collaborations that engage students and the community as a whole.
To ensure students are not only inspired by color but also surrounded by a safe environment, Benjamin Moore annually donates premium paint including its eco-friendly Natura interior paint. Natura contains no harsh chemicals, no strong odors and has low emissions while delivering rich, enduring color. Benjamin Moore has donated its Natura paint to all of Publicolor’s spring transformations including IS 50 in East Harlem; Brooklyn Transition Center; IS 218 in Brooklyn; and High School for Fashion Industries in Manhattan as well as IS 80 in the Bronx.
At Saturday’s event, 10 Benjamin Moore employee volunteers painted with Publicolor students and spoke to them about the importance of education and focusing on a career path. Notable guests in attendance included: Benjamin Moore Director of Communications Kimberlee Bradshaw; Dan Rodrigues, SVP Sales and Business Development, CBS EcoMedia; Ruth Lande Shuman, Founder and President of Publicolor; and Emmanuel Polanco, Principal, IS 80.
Emphasized Benjamin Moore's Kimberlee Bradshaw, Director of Communications, “Benjamin Moore employees have a long history for making a difference in the communities in which we live and work. Mentoring Publicolor’s Next Steps students is close to our hearts because it promotes the sustainability of the New York City community where Benjamin Moore began in 1883 and helps us ensure that the next generation of New Yorkers are prepared to become great citizens.”
Publicolor’s Next Steps program consists of weekly career and college preparation activities which include resume preparation, job shadowing, mock interviews, guidance with college and financial aid applications, SAT preparation, and multi-day, multi-campus, college tours. Next Steps students also attend weekly tutoring sessions, and regularly paint on Saturdays. Students in Next Steps also participate in annual enrichment trips to museums, design offices, and artists’ studios. Students receive their first job experience, as well as a small stipend tied to attendance and responsibility.
“We are thrilled that Benjamin Moore is supporting students in our Next Steps program which is part of Publicolor's continuum of design-based programs focused on college readiness, admission and graduation,” said Ruth Lande Shuman, Founder and President, Publicolor. “Benjamin Moore has been behind this effort to turn dreary school environments into warm, welcoming student-centric centers where the importance and joy of learning are underscored by the design. And as a result of these transformed environments, student attitudes and behavior are transformed. In fact, last year 100 percent of Publicolor students stayed in school versus 60 percent citywide.”
“This very important partnership between Benjamin Moore and Publicolor signifies the kind of profound social change we can affect when we all come together,” said Paul Polizzotto, President and Founder of CBS EcoMedia Inc. “Benjamin Moore’s support and mentorship will enhance the lives of Publicolor students and prepare them well for college and the workforce.”
About Benjamin Moore & Co.
Benjamin Moore & Co., a Berkshire Hathaway company, was founded in 1883. One of the North America's leading manufacturers of premium quality residential, commercial and industrial maintenance coatings, Benjamin Moore maintains a relentless commitment to sustainable manufacturing practices and continues to develop the most eco-responsible formulations possible. In 2012, the company's Natura® paint received the Green Good Housekeeping Seal, acknowledging its high degree of sustainability plus rigorously tested performance. Other superior products in the Benjamin Moore Green Promise® portfolio include Aura®, Regal® Select, ben® and Ultra Spec® 500 paint for commercial interiors – all built upon our patented Gennex® platform that has changed the industry and earned the passion and loyalty of homeowners and professional painters by delivering extremely low-VOC and peerless beauty and performance. J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Interior Paint Satisfaction Study ranked Benjamin Moore highest in consumer satisfaction, marking the third consecutive year and fourth time the company has earned this rating. Benjamin Moore paints deliver authentic Benjamin Moore colors and are available exclusively from Benjamin Moore's network of paint and decorating dealers.
Publicolor was founded in 1996 by Ruth Lande Shuman with the mission to counter our inner- city public schools’ alarming dropout rate by engaging young people in their education through a continuum of design- based programs and academic support. It directly addresses two of the root causes of poverty in America: the under-education of inner-city public school students and their lack of preparedness for the workforce. Unique to Publicolor—and central to its mission—is the beautification and revitalization of public and civic spaces through the hard work of our students and the power of paint, color, and design, and collaborations that engage students and the community as a whole. To date Ruth and Publicolor have transformed 158 struggling school buildings, 16 playgrounds and 186 community facilities in New York. Some statistics about Publicolor:
• 100% - Publicolor students stayed in school last year.
• 90% of Publicolor students graduated high school last year whereas citywide as compared with, 63% of students citywide with comparable socio-economic backgrounds.
• 89% - Publicolor high school graduates continue their education through post-secondary options (4-year colleges, vocational schools, or military schools). Comparatively, only 47% of students with similar socio-economic backgrounds continue their education after high school.
• 80% - Publicolor students' college retention rate. Nationwide, this rate for first-generation college students is 35%.
• Publicolor high school graduates (3-year average): 52 of 58 tracked students, 90% graduation rate, which compares to 63% average at their schools.
• Publicolor high school graduates matriculating for college (3-year average): 44 of 52, 81% college matriculation rate, which compares to 49% average at their schools.
• 100% of high school graduates in need of assistance to fill the gap between financial aid and the real cost of college receive a scholarship from Publicolor.
For more information, please visit www.publicolor.org.
About CBS EcoMedia Inc.
At EcoMedia, we’re propelled by the desire to create positive social change; that’s been our mission since we founded the company in 2002. In 2010, after successfully partnering with CBS on a wide range of environmental projects, EcoMedia became the newest addition to the CBS Corporation portfolio, exponentially scaling our reach across television, radio, interactive, publishing and outdoor media. Through our patent-pending EcoAd, WellnessAd and EducationAd programs, an innovative twist on traditional advertising, advertisers are able to support much-needed local projects which in turn creates jobs, saves taxpayer money and improves the quality of life in communities nationwide. In the process, we’re fundamentally altering the advertising landscape, elevating the ordinary, traditional commercial – and media, in general – into a catalyst for tangible, quantifiable social change. Please visit ecomediacbs.com, like us at facebook.com/EcoMediaCBS or follow us at Twitter.com/EcoMediaCBS
By participating in EcoMedia’s EcoAd, WellnessAd and EducationAd advertising programs, EcoMedia’s advertisers agree to provide funding for projects we believe will have a beneficial effect upon the environment, health and/or education within local communities. EcoMedia’s advertising programs are not certification programs nor are the EcoAd, WellnessAd or EducationAd logos seals of approval. EcoMedia does not in any way certify, endorse or make any representations about EcoMedia program advertisers, their products or services.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
JONATHAN MARDER + COMPANY
Director of Communications