Marathon’s Fueling Community Transformation Through Service at Wilmington Middle School
Art possesses a unique ability to transcend boundaries, connect people, and instill a sense of belonging.
When our partners at Marathon Petroleum approached us to collaborate on another beautification project, we grabbed our paintbrushes. This past summer Marathon took on a project at Wilmington Middle School in Wilmington, CA. Through this month-long transformation and two service days, Marathon painted nine murals, updated landscaping at the school’s entrance, and refurbished the basketball courts.
These nine murals, each paid tribute to iconic sports figures who embody Wilmington Middle School’s core values: determination, teamwork, and resiliency. From legendary athletes who overcame adversity to achieve greatness, to those who demonstrated the importance of giving back to their communities, “the role models on these walls epitomize the core values that we want our students to have. The impact of Marathon Petroleum’s investment in Wilmington is not confined to physical changes; it’s about nurturing a positive environment that encourages growth, self-belief, and ambition. The presence of these murals sends a powerful message to students, reminding them that their dreams are achievable and that they are part of a community that believes in their potential” said Wilmington Prinicipal Jorge Olmos.
Marathon’s team of over 100 volunteers outstretched to multiple divisions including their very own Summer Youth Program. On July 19th, these young individuals became integral contributors to the transformation of Wilmington Middle School. Their enthusiasm and willingness to actively participate in the creation of the inspirational murals demonstrated their belief in the power of unity. Thompson Joseph, Marathon Petroleum Summer Youth Program Lead Coordinator spoke with pride, “It’s been an incredible journey to see our Summer Youth step up and be part of something so meaningful. Their enthusiasm and dedication in volunteering for this project with Sharefest has truly embodied the spirit of giving back that Marathon stands for.”
On Marathon’s second service day on July 29th, the scene on the grounds were electric as the employees were also joined by their families. Daniel Toledo, Marathon engineer, felt an extra sense of pride and said, “being here on this campus, doing this beautification project in conjunction with Marathon, it means a lot to me … not (only) because I am an alum from [this school] but also as somebody who grew up in this community. It’s great to work for a company that cares about the community… they actually show that through works like we’re doing here today.”
Olga Chavez, Sr. ESG & Stakeholder Engagement Rep with Marathon echoed the sentiment, “our team members are the heart of this effort, and their unwavering dedication to the Wilmington community is truly inspiring. Partnering with Sharefest for the vibrant murals at Wilmington Middle School demonstrates how much our team cares about making a real impact.”
By investing in projects that inspire and uplift, Marathon helps break down barriers and instill hope in a community that is often overlooked. Chad Mayer, Executive Director at Sharefest noted the power of working together, “the partnership with Marathon [has] not only revitalized physical spaces but also ignited a spirit of unity and empowerment among the community. The murals at Wilmington Middle School stand as a vivid reminder that positive change begins when we come together with a shared vision.”
Marathon Petroleum’s partnership with Sharefest is a shining example of corporate social responsibility in action. We know that when companies and communities come together with a shared purpose, the possibilities for transformation are limitless. Marathon’s Project Coordinator John Stubbs felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment concluding this transformation, “Marathon Petroleum’s partnership with Sharefest, combined with the active involvement of our summer interns and volunteers, …has breathed new life into the spirit of Wilmington. This experience exemplifies the power of uniting for a shared purpose, fostering a sense of pride, and creating a lasting legacy that will inspire generations to come.”
Sharefest builds hope and pathways to economic success for youth facing significant barriers. Serving over 300 youth a year, their primary work takes place inside LAUSD Continuation High Schools from Wilmington to Watts. Sharefest students participate in college and career courses that accelerate earning the credits they desperately need to graduate. The Sharefest team mentors and provides students with the necessary skills, support, and connections to achieve their career and college goals. After high school graduation, youth continue to receive support, guidance, and mentoring as they enter into the workforce or community college. Sharefest’s work with youth is partially funded by facilitating service projects for area businesses who want to give back to their surrounding communities.
About Marathon Petroleum Corporation and the Los Angeles Refinery:
Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) is a leading, integrated, downstream energy company headquartered in Findlay, Ohio. The company operates the nation’s largest refining system. MPC’s marketing system includes branded locations across the United States, including Marathon brand retail outlets. MPC also owns the general partner and majority limited partner interest in MPLX LP, a midstream company that owns and operates gathering, processing, and fractionation assets, as well as crude oil and light product transportation and logistics infrastructure. More information is available at www.marathonpetroleum.com.
MPC’s Los Angeles refinery is in Los Angeles County, near the Los Angeles Harbor. It manufactures cleaner-burning California Air Resources Board (CARB) gasoline and CARB diesel fuel, as well as conventional gasoline, distillates, petroleum coke, anode-grade coke, chemical-grade propylene, fuel-grade coke, heavy fuel oil and propane. The refinery ships products via its connections to several product distribution pipelines and terminals. Its Watson cogeneration plant produces 400 megawatts and is the largest cogeneration facility in California.