Shell partners with Gonzales Middle to beautify campus

Brandie Richardson
Shell Geismar volunteers spent the day beautifying Gonzales Middle School campus. Picutred is Corey LeBlanc, Bethany Carnes, Jarrett Wilbanks, Charles McGirt, Jimmy Neer, Jason Oudit, Andrew Starkey, GoMS Facility Manager Henrietta Johnson, Ruble Encalade, Andrew Bradley, Matthew Skapura, and Zachary Fisher. Not Pictured: Amanda Wonnell

A dozen Shell Geismar employees gathered at Gonzales Middle School last month to help beautify their campus. The volunteers are part of the New Professionals Network at Shell, comprised of younger employees in various fields who donate their time to better the community in numerous projects throughout the year. 

The volunteers spent the day landscaping the courtyard behind the library where chemical washings had drained down from the building and destroyed some of the plants in the area, pulled weeds and laid down weed blocker, planted new plants and added new mulch and timbers, trimmed some tree and laid down rocks near gutters. 

"The school was very pleased with the work and the area looks much nicer afterwards," said Shell event organizer and Project Manager Amanda Wonnell. "I think it’s just important to get involved and give back to the community in which we operate and support the education of the next generations to come who may work with us or in the area."

The Geismar chemical plant partners will various Ascension schools such as Oak Grove and Gonzales Primary often to clean and do beautification projects throughout the year. Most recently Shell employees took part in a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) night at Oak Grove Primary to teach science experiments to the students.

Additionally, volunteers meet twice a month at Gonzales Primary to mentor students kindergarten through fifth grade and help with school work and projects.

"Our employees really have a heart for community service, whenever we have opportunities to do these sort of things we always have volunteers who are ready to go," said Shell Geismar Communications and External Affairs Manager Kevin Hardy. "They get as much out of it themselves as the people they serve get out of it. It really is a win-win situation for everyone. It benefits in every way." 

"It means so much to the Gonzales Middle School community to have a partnership with Shell Chemical Geismar," said Gonzales Middle School Principal Lori Charlet. "To have the employees of Shell supporting the education of our children speaks volumes; it shows the value they place on preparing our students to be college and career ready."