Planting 4 million baby oysters in the Severn River outside Annapolis, Maryland, requires many hands and a bit of seed money. Volkswagen Group of America is proud of our hands-on support of this project and our relationship with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, dedicated to restoring and protecting the largest estuary in the United States. More than 150 rivers and streams drain into the Bay off the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by Maryland and Virginia. Preserving this natural treasure is just one example of our environmental stewardship, which also includes student scholarships to the foundation’s student leadership summer youth program.
As part of its commitment to education and leadership in the performing arts, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in Virginia offers “one of the best internships” for college students, according to Bloomberg Business Week. Volkswagen Group of America helps fund the program for students like Elizabeth Necka from Bloomingdale, Illinois, a senior at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, where she majors in psychology and business administration, and minors in theatre. After interning with the planning and initiatives department, Elizabeth said. “The main strength of the program is that this is very specifically an internship. It’s not underpaid work like at some places…Wolf Trap provides an atmosphere in which to grow.” We look forward to watching Elizabeth continue to grow as she now decides between a master’s degree in arts and theatre management or a PhD in psychology.
In partnering with DC SCORES through their Adopt-A-School program, Volkswagen Group of America encourages students in schools throughout the community to become physically fit, feel part of a team and express themselves as agents of change. DC SCORES combines afterschool creative writing, soccer and service for over 800 students at 25 schools in the Washington, D.C. area.
Students like Saba:
“My dream is to fly with pride, to sing with power, to feel the rain kiss my skin, to play soccer on muddy fields. My dream is to design with passion, to soar through the clouds, to slide down a waterfall. My dream is to help with all my love.”
– “My Dream,” poem by Saba A., MacFarland Middle School, Washington, D.C.
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Within the many art museums of the Smithsonian Institution, new exhibits by the masters are almost an everyday occurrence. But a unique exhibit featuring the work of artists with disabilities recently opened thanks to the work of VSA – The International Organization on Arts and Disability. An international nonprofit organization founded more than 35 years ago by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, VSA offers people with disabilities the opportunity to learn through, participate in and enjoy the arts. For nine years, Volkswagen Group of America has partnered with VSA to recognize these emerging and accomplished artists, reflecting our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and our support of the visual and performing arts.
Jim and Sharon Forsythe, parents of VSA artist, Daniel, comment, “Drawing and painting have been Daniel’s daily experience since he was three years old. As a person with Down Syndrome, Daniel lives with moderate mental retardation; he is unable to read or write except at the most rudimentary levels. Daniel also has a speech impairment, which makes communication difficult. But Daniel’s disabilities end where his art begins. He views the blank page without fear or paralyzing self-analysis. He works with joy and confidence because he loves painting and drawing, creating worlds filled with beauty, adventure and exquisite proportion. Daniel’s self-assurance has blossomed since winning his VSA award. He understands the magnitude of that honor. We are grateful to VSA for recognizing what we have always known: Daniel’s artistic voice communicates while spoken words fail him. It is very gratifying to see Daniel have an opportunity to transcend his handicaps through others’ appreciation of his artwork.”
Award-winning drawing created by Daniel Forsythe
Daniel Forsythe is one of the many VSA artists
On March 12, 2010, Audi hosted a Friendship Breakfast with Best Buddies Virginia State Director Allison Coles to support one of Best Buddies’ most important campaigns: Spread the Word to End the Word.™ Audi of America president, Johan De Nysschen, opened the event with a speech that outlined the history of Audi’s involvement with Best Buddies, and encouraged employees to take advantage of the Payroll Deduction Program to support the group. Read more »
The employees from the VW Credit service center in Libertyville, IL play an active role in philanthropic efforts within the local community. Read more »