ExxonMobil donates $10K to Dobie debate club

ExxonMobil donates $10K to Dobie debate club
Posted on 02/13/2019
This is the image for the news article titled ExxonMobil donates $10K to Dobie debate clubBy: Jade Wise
Pasadena ISD Communications

Albert Einstein famously once said, “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.”

In January, Dobie High School faced a difficulty in the form of a pipeline leak in the green space in front of the school. Administrators reported the leak to ExxonMobil and a makeshift emergency response headquarters was soon set up in the campus parking lot and repairs began.

Although the leak occurred during the winter break, the Dobie speech and debate club had a tournament scheduled for January 5. Due to the ongoing repairs, the tournament was now in jeopardy of being cancelled. 

“The tournament brings in over 1,000 attendees and is the largest fundraiser we do,” said Dobie Speech and Debate Head Coach Andrew Barrett. “If the tournament could not be held at Dobie on that exact weekend, it would have had to been cancelled.”

ExxonMobil went above and beyond to ensure that the tournament went on as scheduled. In addition to taking every precaution to ensure that the campus was safe and accessible to every attendee, company officials provided a pizza lunch to every student and staff member.

In discussions with ExxonMobil Public and Government Affairs Manager Nicolás Medina about the tournament precautions, Barrett discovered a connection and stumbled on an opportunity.

“We bonded over a common thing – speech and debate,” said Barrett. “In talking to Nicolás about debate and the success of the kids, he shared with me that he was a former debater in high school and college. He expressed how much it would mean to him if ExxonMobil could give back to something that gave him so much when he was in young.”

On February 12, Medina and representatives from ExxonMobil presented Barrett and campus administrators with a $10,000 check for the Dobie speech and debate club. 

“On behalf of ExxonMobil and our employees, it is a privilege and an honor to support programs like the Dobie High School speech and debate team,” said Medina.

“The funds will go towards a team as whole, but also specifically towards expenses that the team will have this weekend as they head to the prestigious Harvard National High School Tournament.” 

The Harvard tournament is one that Medina participated in as well during high school.

“I still have the memories of landing in Cambridge for the Harvard tournament and of my experiences there,” said Medina. “It gives me joy to be able to help these students have that once-in-a-lifetime experience as well.”

Dobie principal Franklin Moses stated that although the pipeline leak on campus was an unforeseen challenge, he is grateful for the community partnership that has blossomed between Dobie and ExxonMobil.

“The relationship has been a very positive one throughout this whole process,” said Dobie Principal Franklin Moses. “ExxonMobil has kept us informed, met our needs, worked around our schedule and been very generous – as you can see by this donation today.” 

Dobie Exxon Check Presentation
Back Row (L to R): Andrew Barrett, Debate Head Coach; Caroline Henderson, ExxonMobil Safety, Security, Health & Environment Manager; Franklin Moses, Dobie Principal; Keishon Groves, Dobie Senior; Kayla Newsome, Dobie Senior; Makaela Reed, Dobie Senior; Beth Early, Dobie Senior; Christopher Scott, Dobie Junior; Reginald Jefferson, Dobie Junior; Deja Thomas, Dobie Sophomore; Jeff Flores Debate Coach; Walter Cayce, ExxonMobil Community Awareness Adviser
Front Row (L to R): Marayam Badr, Dobie Sophomore; Emily Santos, Dobie Sophomore; Derneisa Green, Dobie Senior; Madisynne Reed, Dobie Freshman; Frida Quiroz, Dobie Junior; Kianna Groves, Dobie Junior; Thuc Vo, Dobie Sophomore; Stephanie Horton Dobie Junior; Nicolas Medina, Public and Government Affairs Manager; Rick Burford Debate Coach