As a global pharmaceutical company one of AbbVie’s key CSR goals is developing student interest in STEM subjects and STEM based careers. AbbVie engages in a number of community programmes to support this goal such as their Back to School for STEM programme, SEEK programme (delivery of science experiments in schools) and sponsorship of IT Sligo’s Science Festival.
In addition, each year AbbVie holds a global employee volunteer event – Week of Possibilities – where they encourage thousands of employees worldwide and hundreds of staff in Ireland to volunteer throughout the week.
Most projects during Week of Possibilities focus on the revamping or refurbishment of schools close to local offices and in particular the revamp of science labs. New Cross College, a co-educational DEIS school based in west Finglas, Dublin – with over 200 students – is a diverse school with children from many backgrounds, races and ethnic minorities including Irish travelers. Many of the students here struggle to finish their education and few go on to college or university.
This fact along with its close proximity to AbbVie offices saw it selected as the beneficiary of one of AbbVie’s Week of Possibilities employee volunteer projects. The project – a makeover of the school’s science labs. The goal – to create a positive learning environment and stimulate interest in science.
As always AbbVie employees took to the task with great energy and enthusiasm spending the week cleaning, clearing, taping, painting, sanding and staining lab desks and assembling new science lab schools. The school Principal, Derek Lynch and science teacher Denise O’Farrell, were overcome with the positivity and goodwill of the AbbVie volunteers.
Derek shared “The week of possibilities with AbbVie was a brilliant experience for our school community in New Cross College” while Denise told us “The work done as part of the global week of volunteering by the employees of AbbVie will enrich the teaching and learning in our Science classes. What really struck me though was the spirit, enthusiasm and interest that the AbbVie team showed during the week they were in our school. They had a sense of purpose that was very genuine.”
Check out this time-lapse video showing the transformation of the science lab across the week.