Project Compass gives high school sophomores direction for future success
When you’re a high school sophomore, your life can head in any number of directions. That was the central message of the inaugural meeting of Project Compass, a mentoring program pairing Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) employees with 21 sophomores from Findlay High School (FHS) in Findlay, Ohio. The student participants were each selected by the FHS administration because they in particular would benefit from guidance provided by this program.
Spearheaded by MPC Senior Vice President Pam Beall, the program’s purpose is to be a compass, offering direction for students to get the support and guidance they need to get into college or into a particular career. “These are students who have talent, but perhaps need further direction,” explains Bonnie Loch, MPC supplier diversity and corporate support manager, as well as Project Compass’ coordinator. “Our goal is to show them what good grades can do for them and to educate them on important skills, such as communication and creating a resume. We will be working monthly with these students during the 2015-2016 school year and plan to stay in touch with them until graduation.” She notes that the program will also begin with another set of incoming sophomores for the 2016-2017 school year, and so on.
For the program’s kickoff on Sept. 16, the students spent four hours at MPC with Project Compass team members Bill Schedel, Dave Blatnik, Bonnie Loch, Annette Kendall, Melanie Lee, Christina Senopole, Sara Felzke, Natalie Wolfe, Joe Sagraves, Foster Clark, Carol Stower, Beth Lewandowski and Jennifer Steiner-Burner. Students gained valuable information on personality and leadership styles and heard plenty of personal anecdotes demonstrating how decisions in high school can impact the rest of your life. They also took a tour of the Findlay Office Complex.
Then, on October 20, small groups walked over from the high school to the busy new Speedway convenience store in Findlay to learn about careers in customer service and job progression at Speedway LLC. The morning also included learning how to put together a resume, filling out a job application and job seeking tips. Interestingly, nearly 75 percent of these students already had Speedy Rewards cards, so they are the face of Speedway’s customers now and into the future. Before they left to walk back, students were treated to a Speedy Freeze or another beverage of their choice.
“As this program continues, we have the potential to reach many students and can help them learn how to make good decisions about their future through exposure to different skills and opportunities,” notes Beall. “We’re really excited about this mentoring program, and we hope it meets a need for students who may not know how to pursue a rewarding and fulfilling career.”