Corporate and Nonprofit Sponsors work to beautify Hamtramck High School Classrooms


By Simon Albaugh – Yemeni American News

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – After placing the final touches on a Mural in Hamtramck High School’s Second Floor Hallway, corporate sponsors and school officials are excited for the impact this will have on students.

“Our school has a lot of white walls,” said Anthony Kiner, principal at Hamtramck High School. “Now, you go into classrooms and it’s just amazing to see when you see white walls all the time. Now we walk in and we think the kids are going to learn a lot better and they’re going to be a lot calmer and things.”

Volunteers from Ford Cares, PPG and Heart of America devoted two days to repainting 17 classrooms and installing a mural for the second-floor hallway. With around 70 volunteers donating their time, they made quick work of the two-day project.

All of this came from involvement from the students, who told the volunteers what they wanted for the aesthetic of their classrooms. Putting together a slideshow for administrators, the school hopes to honor the vision of students for their educational space. However, that may take a while.

“So this is a three to five year project with GM, and with PPG, and really the whole place really driving force,” Kiner said. “So they were like, ‘What do you want to see?’ And so there was a lot of different views from kind of the history, you know, to, like, steam murals.”

Amjad Farah, global account director for PPG talked about what this could mean for the students. As a leader in the philanthropic wings of the fortune-500 paint manufacturer, he talked about what this could mean for the students at Hamtramck High School, one of 27 locations for this kind of effort.

“I’m really proud of this team,” Farah said. “Both the GM group as well as the PPG group did a lot of work in a couple of days, completely transforming the space for the kids. It’s exciting. And the kids will be excited when they’re here.”

A small ceremony was held for the final brush strokes of a mural in the second floor hallway. State Representative Abraham Aiyash was in attendance for the ceremony. Talking about the meaning of the STEAM mural, Aiyash said that it’s because of that focus that led to him being in his position today.

“As somebody who grew up in this community, had it not been for mentors, teachers and principals that really took the time to teach me and give me an opportunity to dream and reimagine what’s possible, you know, I wouldn’t be in the position that I’m in today,” Aiyash said.

President and CEO of Heart of America Jill Hardy-Heath gave one of the final speeches before the final brush stroke. With a student-focused approach to the organization’s efforts to add color to the lives of students, she wants every child to imagine their future in the right environment.

“School should be an enjoyable place, it should be a safe place, it should be an inspiring space,” Hardy-Heath said. “And too often, our schools are not full of the appropriate resources and color and exploration that they should be. And so Heart of America really focuses on education, equity, in terms of resources, and transforming spaces, because every child deserves an amazing space to learn and grow and imagine their future.”