Axalta’s Gary Weaks, Karen Putinsky and Kris Wright have been mentoring students at Mount Clemens schools through Michigan State University Extension’s 4-H Tech Wizards program. The program focuses on building relationships through mentoring between adult role models and students ages 14-19 as they interact through S.T.E.A.M (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) related topics and activities. Axalta employees’ long-term commitment to the program and local youth has been greatly appreciated by program staff and their mentees.
“These three Axalta mentors have been tremendous with the youth,” said Lisa Kelley, 4-H Tech Wizards Program Coordinator. “The students look forward to working with them weekly. I couldn’t have asked for nicer, kinder or smarter people to be mentors.”
Thanks to their ongoing support of the program and a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention and National 4-H Council, Axalta mentors Weaks, Putinsky and Wright were selected to attend 4-H Leadership Washington Focus with their mentees. The intensive 4-H leadership development program took place at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland the week of June 20. During the event, mentors and mentees participated in experiential learning that boosts leadership competency in four areas: critical thinking, collaboration, communication and confidence. The program is intended to prepare youth to become leaders in their communities and provides them with a great opportunity for personal growth and development.
“We’re very excited to be able to share our experience and talent with students who participate in the Tech Wizards program,” said Gary Weaks, Axalta OEM Operations Quality Manager. “The students have great attendance and participation in the weekly after-school sessions and summer camps. It is one of the many ways Axalta gives back to the communities in which we work and live.