Marsh, Fidelity Partnership Has Mutual Benefits

While students at Marsh Preparatory Academy were enjoying a day off to go to the State Fair of Texas in October, 230 employees from Fidelity Investments were hard at work on their campus.

When students returned to school four days later, they found newly painted college and university logos on the doors to the school’s portable classrooms, directional signs pointing to institutions of higher learning, and stepping stones featuring more college logos. There are also new benches painted in the school’s yellow and black colors, while the entrance to the school features a new desk and reception area.

Marsh, with more than 1,000 students in grades 6-8, is one of 14 schools Fidelity has adopted across the country.

Much of the work was designed to highlight college readiness and encourage students to think about their futures after high school. But rather than a one-time project, the day was an extension of a six-year partnership.

“We think the most important thing is developing relationships,” said Scott Orr, vice president of public affairs for Fidelity. Every week, company employees visit Marsh to teach classes on financial literacy.

The directional college signs represent the alma maters of Fidelity employees who were visiting from out of state. The signs, Orr said, include some little-known institutions far from Texas.

Pam Norley, executive vice president of Fidelity’s Financial Services, was rolling paint on to lockers, which were made to look like the spines of textbooks. Norley is based in Boston.

Marsh principal Nicky Niewinski said in addition to working directly with students, Fidelity also provides support in helping fund transportation for field trips. One of those trips is to the Fidelity campus in Westlake, which also hosts an annual ball for the Marsh Leadership Cadet Corps.

“It’s not just today. It’s a real educational partnership,” Niewinski said. “They provide kids with experiences that as a district we could not afford to offer them.”

— Staff report

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