AkzoNobel Human Cities Partners with Leaders of the Future to Revitalize Pontiac
PONTIAC, MI The Leaders of the Future, a Pontiac youth leadership incubator that is revitalizing the city of Pontiac, Michigan, through community service, is the recipient of a $100,000 AkzoNobel Human Cities grant.
Established by a group of high school students in 2014, Leaders of the Future is an organized force against poverty, blight and degradation in the city of Pontiac. The future of Pontiac will be determined by the next generation, and AkzoNobel is recognizing the Leaders of the Future for the grassroots, hands-on approach its members are taking to invigorate the city.
The grant is awarded through AkzoNobel's Human Cities initiative, the company's global commitment to improving, energizing and regenerating urban communities across the world.
"Empowering the next generation of young people to take action helps build lifelong leadership skills and creates stronger communities," said U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI). "I congratulate Leaders of the Future on this grant supporting their mission to strengthen and revitalize Pontiac, and I look forward to seeing all they accomplish as they work to help the City of Pontiac thrive. I thank AkzoNobel of Pontiac and Troy for their dedication to supporting the Pontiac community and the next generation of Michigan leaders."
"AkzoNobel traces its origins in Pontiac back to 1902 and as a company that's proud of this heritage we were impressed by the sustainable activations the Leaders of the Future have introduced to revitalize the city," said Johan Landfors, President of AkzoNobel North America.
Accompanied by Pontiac Mayor Deirdre Waterman and the Leaders of the Future organization, Landfors announced the donation during a press conference held at Pontiac City Hall.
"My theme for the city of Pontiac in 2016 is 'Bringing it Back Home,' because I want to draw attention to the fact that the city of Pontiac is rejuvenated, and we are working togetherelected officials and citizensto bring the city back," said Mayor Waterman. "I am very proud of the contributions made by the Leaders of the Future, and I commend AkzoNobel for supporting the mission and community focus of this exciting grassroots effort."
Throughout the next two years, the AkzoNobel Human Cities grant will provide $50,000 to support various sustainability-themed community projects that Leaders of the Future will activate in Pontiac. In addition, AkzoNobel will contribute $50,000 to establish a higher education scholarship fund supporting the educational ambitions of the group's membership.
"We, at the Leaders of the Future, are immensely excited to launch projects with greater sustainability and community impact thanks to AkzoNobel's generous donation," said Engnell. "For example, our first project in 2017 will be an orchard and apiary that we'll design and install on a set of two lots on the southwest side of Pontiac. Alongside AkzoNobel volunteers from the Pontiac operation site, we'll also plant peach, apple and cherry trees and place beehives for the community to care for and enjoy."