On Thursday, July 30, Sharefest Youth Development Academy middle school students had the privilege of serving alongside youth from The Asomugha Foundation’s College Tour for Scholars (ACTS) program to transform the Wilmington Senior Center as part of a larger refurbishing project funded by a generous $45,000 gift from Phillips 66.

During the service day, the nearly 120 students assisted with new landscaping, created tiles for a mosaic, made cards of encouragement for homebound seniors, chatted with residents, and more, all with a goal of creating a welcoming and comfortable environment for community members. This service day continued the work started by Summer YDA students at the first summer service day on July 16.

“When I found out that Sharefest was coming with Phillips 66, I was really excited. I’ve been excited since the first day because we really need the help,” said Maria Martinez, Director of Aging for the Wilmington Senior Center. “To see these kids so happy to be working and doing and trying their best, to make the center a better looking place…I’m really, really grateful for you guys being here and doing this for our center. Thank you!”

The center serves about 150 community members each day who stop by to attend various classes, such as zumba, art, craft, sewing, and more. Weekly clubs meetings and senior trips are organized through the center, as well as workshops to help residents learn new skills. The center’s outreach program delivers an estimated 37,000 meals to homebound residents annually.

“I am thrilled that together with the Asomugha Foundation and Phillips 66, we can improve and transform this facility to serve generations of Wilmington residents,” said Chad Mayer, Sharefest Executive Director. “This project also allows us to instill in youth from the YDA and ACTS programs the importance of community involvement and service as they prepare to become future leaders.”

This is Sharefest’s second year partnering with the Asomugha Foundation, and both organizations share a passion for developing youth to be future leaders, a key component of the service day.

“The Asomugha Foundation is proud to partner with Sharefest and Phillips 66 on this day of service. It is important to give back, and this venture speaks to the heart and mission of our organization,” said Dr. Lilian Asomugha, Founder, President, and CEO of the Asomugha Foundation.

The work being completed is at no cost to the center, thanks to Phillips 66. The funds from their gift will allow for additional work to take place including new paint for rooms and hallways, landscaping, and more.

“Phillips 66 strongly believes in giving back to the communities in which we live and work, and we have deep roots in the city of Wilmington,” said Phillips 66 Public Affairs Manager Janet Grothe. “We’re excited to be a part of this important work alongside Sharefest, the Asomugha Foundation, and local youth as we meet community needs while developing future leaders.”