NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., June 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company, today launched its second annual Week of Possibilities volunteer program, with 3,100 employees globally volunteering more than 14,000 service hours to transform schools and communities where AbbVie employees live and work.
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For 2015, the program includes more than 39 countries and more than 55 separate hands-on service projects, with a special emphasis on transforming education in ways that will improve the lives of those in underserved populations.
"In many communities, children face a significant achievement gap in science and literacy," said Richard A. Gonzalez, chairman and chief executive officer of AbbVie. "We are committed to helping narrow that gap to empower all the students of today to become the scientists of tomorrow."1
AbbVie launched Week of Possibilities in 2014 as a local initiative in which employees volunteered more than 6,800 hours to renovate schools and other learning facilities and provide educational materials to students in North Chicago, Ill., and Worcester, Mass. This year, the program has been expanded to include projects in Australia, Brazil, China, Italy, Japan, Turkey, Russia and 31 other countries.
For 2015, AbbVie and the AbbVie Foundation have committed more than $1.3 million to Week of Possibility projects, and the company has donated the time of all its employee volunteers to help carry out the projects.
Service projects include:
- In North Chicago, where AbbVie is based, students at Neal Math & Science Academy and North Chicago Community High School will receive new libraries, stocked with new computers, desks, books and other resources. Volunteers will also paint classrooms, cafeterias, gyms and other spaces at two more schools and build an age-appropriate playground and equip and build out 18 classrooms for the district's first dedicated early learning center. That center, scheduled to open next fall, will provide full-day pre-k and kindergarten for the district's most at-risk youngsters.
- In Redwood City, Calif., and Worcester, Mass., AbbVie volunteers will revamp two more school libraries and paint and prepare other school spaces for the next school year.
- In Tokyo, underprivileged children living in group homes will participate in the AbbVie Foundation's SEEK program (Science Engineering Exploration Knowledge), a new global science education program that aims to give 7- to 11-year-old students a taste of the science discovery process. Volunteers will help guide students through a "Mystery Box" experiment that combines concepts of observation, inference, communication and team work as students develop a final prediction for what is in the mystery box.
- In Budapest, Hungary, volunteers will read stories to children ages 4-12 undergoing long-term treatment at local hospitals. Another group will work at a local secondary school, renovating the building, upgrading the information system and delivering health-related lessons/ lectures about give up smoking, HCV infection prevention and healthy lifestyle.
"Improving education gives all children, especially those from underserved communities, a better opportunity to realize their full potential," Gonzalez said. "We're committed to that effort, and we're confident that our volunteer work during Week of Possibilities will have a long-lasting impact – on the children of today and on the future of our communities."
AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases. Together with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pharmacyclics, AbbVie employs more than 28,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries. For further information on the company and its people, portfolio and commitments, please visit www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook or LinkedIn page.
About The AbbVie Foundation
The AbbVie Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) foundation, is dedicated to having a remarkable impact on the lives of the underserved around the world through a commitment to building strong communities, sustainable health care systems and effective educational programs.
1 Achievement gaps occur when one group of students outperforms another group and the difference in average scores for the two groups is statistically significant (that is, larger than the margin of error). Source: National Center for Education Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/studies/gaps/