ExxonMobil and the Harris Foundation Announce Second Year of Successful National “Dream Tour”

Program Brings Math and Science Career Options to Under-served Middle School Students

Mar 20, 2009 - 11:40 AM EDT



Public Company Information:


DETROIT--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ExxonMobil, in conjunction with Dr. Bernard Harris and The Harris Foundation, announced today the schedule for the second year of “The Dream Tour,” a program designed to help middle school students across the country reach their potential through the power of strong math and science skills. Dr. Harris made this formal announcement while speaking to 500 students at Brenda M. Scott Middle School in Detroit.

“Today’s students are different from my generation in that they’ve had technology in their hands since birth,” said Dr. Harris, a former NASA astronaut and the first African American to walk in space.

“My goal is to encourage them to be explorers, discover options outside typical careers they hear about and help them see the unending opportunities they have at their fingertips. This dialogue is critical if America is to remain competitive with the world.”

This year’s tour is expected to draw more than 12,200 students at schools in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Mobile, Oakland and Seattle.

Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation, said education is important to the company and to the country.

“Having a generation of math and science students is critical if our country wants to continue its technological excellence,” said Tillerson. “One way to do that is through programs like The Dream Tour where we are able to reach and encourage students who may not otherwise know about exciting careers in science and technology.”

Dr. Harris started the program last year with ExxonMobil to inspire students and increase awareness of the need for math and science education in communities throughout the country.

The high-energy tour features music, role models, an inspirational video, demonstrations on life in the space shuttle and a discussion about achieving dreams by Dr. Harris, who grew up in poverty and found success through perseverance, hard work and a foundation of science, technology, engineering and math skills.

Last year’s tour included stops in Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, San Antonio and Washington, D.C. where more than 8,500 students heard Dr. Harris’ message. The tour targets inner-city schools with significant minority populations.

As another means to reach today’s students, Dr. Harris also announced that he has begun posting regular updates on social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

For more information about “The Dream Tour, presented by ExxonMobil,” please visit www.daring2dream.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

Dr. Bernard Harris entertains and encourages students at Brenda M. Scott Middle School in Detroit as part of The Dream Tour presented by ExxonMobil. His message inspires students to pursue math and science courses as a means to achieve their dreams.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=5922412&lang=en


For ExxonMobil Foundation
Donald Claxton, 214-373-1601

Multimedia Files:

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Dr. Bernard Harris entertains and encourages students at Brenda M. Scott Middle School in Detroit as part of The Dream Tour presented by ExxonMobil. His message inspires students to pursue math and science courses as a means to achieve their dreams. (Photo: Business Wire)