Bank, Rockets help out school

Updated: 2015-01-19 11:44

By May Zhou in Houston(China Daily USA)

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Bank, Rockets help out school

Rockets guard Corey Brewer (right) and Emily Wang, senior vice-president of East West Bank, show off their concrete-overed hands after making handprints to celebrate the completion of the walkway on Jan 16 that EWB has paved for students of Houston’s Harmony School of Ingenuity. MAY ZHOU / CHINA DAILY

East West Bank (EWB) has paved the way - literally - for students of Houston's Harmony School of Ingenuity by constructing a concrete walkway at the back door of the school.

"It used be grass, and when it rained, the students got mud all over them," said Anh Duong, assistant principal of the Harmony School. "Sometimes some students had to call home for a change of clothes. Now fortunately we have this concrete pavement where students can avoid mud altogether if it rains."

While touring the school last spring, EWB executives inquired about how they might financially support any campus projects that lacked necessary funding. They were told that the greatest need was to build a covered and paved walkway so students could enter the building without getting muddy and soaked.

The school got it wished for.

Last Friday, Houston Rockets Hall of Fame legend Clyde Drexler and Rockets guard Corey Brewer joined Emily Wang, EWB senior vice-president and director of marketing and community development, and Steve LaFredo, senior vice-president and commercial lending regional director, to celebrate completion of the walkway by leaving permanent handprints in wet cement next to an engraved marble plaque.

"This is the third year we work with the Rockets to help the local schools," Wang said at the ceremony. "In the first year we donated a computer lab, last year our employees enjoyed teaching the students about savings and personal finance."

Wang said the next step would be to build a covered awning to help create a safer and more inviting learning experience.

According to Duong, the pavement is approximately 3,000 square feet, and the construction of the awning will begin at the end of the month.

"The investment in our students has far exceeded our expectations, and we are extremely appreciative of the support," said Duong. She said the school's annual May Fest event this year will be held on the pavement instead of on grass.

Students themselves appreciate the improvements. Seventh grader David Esquiveo said: "Last year we didn't have the concrete we are now standing on, I wouldn't say it was horrible, but it was pretty bad. Now it's much better, it's really great to have EWB and the Rockets to help us out."

Clyde Drexler said it was always a great thing to invest in the future of young people and the education in financial literacy offered by EWB would mean a lot for their growth.

"Every time we invest in children, it means our future is well taken care of. EWB and the Rockets join hands to make a difference in the community, that's really what it's all about," Drexler said.