DuPont Employees Make a Difference by Motivating Local Students

DuPont News, May 23, 2012
Summer Hill Elementary School students.
Summer Hill Elementary School students in theater lobby prior to enjoying The Lion King production.


Many children, particularly those from underprivileged circumstances, never get the opportunity to see a world-renowned musical production. But thanks to the generosity of DuPont employees at the Richmond, Va., Zytel® plant, 23 elementary school children experienced the thrill of watching Disney Pictures’ musical, “The Lion King.”

The plant used a DuPont Community Fund grant to sponsor 10 of the 23 students to attend the performance at Richmond’s Landmark Theater. The other 13 students were sponsored by individual Zytel® employees. The 23 children are students at Summer Hill Elementary School, with which Richmond Zytel® has had a long-time partnership.

“As part of the partnership, Zytel® employees work with the school to help enhance the overall educational experience of the students,” said Romaine Martin II, Zytel® plant training resource. “We bring students to the plant for tours and employees attend job fairs and award ceremonies at the school. Taking the students to see ‘The Lion King’ was in recognition of achievements they’ve made, including making honor roll, scholar roll or improving their attendance and behavior.  Our upcoming projects include reading to students on Dr. Seuss’ birthday, assisting with Math Night, as well as holding an Earth Day celebration and essay contest.”

“I’m very proud of the employees who used their own money to sponsor students who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to see this world-famous production,” said Fran Montemurro, Zytel® plant manager. “Summer Hill is an inner city school that’s only a few miles from our plant, and many of the students are underprivileged.  Our employees work hard to motivate the students to love and pursue education, particularly as it relates to science and engineering.”

“The costumes and scenes used in ‘The Lion King’ are very creative and innovative, and it was a great way to stimulate their imagination to the possibilities life has to offer,” said John Warriner, who helped chaperone the students along with fellow employee Tracie Morgan. “It was great seeing the looks of wonder on their faces during the performance.”

Marilyn Council-Zeigler, Summer Hill’s Community in Schools representative, said, “My heart was glad and my face showed tears of joy as I witnessed a dream come true. Thank you to DuPont for enabling us to attend such a beautiful production that will become a lifelong memory for our students.”

The Richmond Zytel® plant began operating in 1997 and today has about 80 employees.  The plant produces a high-strength, high-temperature, engineered plastic used in automotive components, power tool casings and pumps.