As the pandemic caused more people than ever to struggle to feed their families, approximately 80 high school teens participating in the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program took a day off from their paid positions to serve at the North Texas Food Bank for Community Service Day, sponsored by NTT DATA, on June 18.
Newly elected Plano Mayor John Muns, Councilmember Rick Grady, Councilmember Julie Holmer and Deputy City Manager Greg Rushin joined the teens, along with NTT DATA CEO Bob Pryor and other volunteers.
In his first year leading the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program, Mayor Muns shared his insights with the teens about the importance of giving back and the life-long dividends reaped when young adults adopt a philanthropic spirit early on. He even endearingly related to the interns, who like him, just experienced their first day on the job. (His was at City Hall!)
“It is exciting to have the opportunity to work alongside our summer interns for this Community Service work day,” said Mayor Muns. “Giving back to our community to help our underserved is a great investment for all involved. My hope is that today’s event inspires these students to be life-long servant leaders.”
Mayor Muns also expressed appreciation to all the companies and nonprofits who stepped up this year to support the program, especially NTT DATA for sponsoring the annual Community Service Day. The company also presented a $25,000 check to the North Texas Food Bank.
“NTT DATA first engaged with the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program through the leadership of our former chairman, John McCain. I remember being in the audience at our first event several years ago, and John spoke of the positive impact on interns and the community at large,” said Bob Pryor, chief executive officer for NTT DATA Services. “The program – and this event – aligns with our corporate values and helps future leaders see the importance of community engagement first hand.”
Throughout the morning, Mayor Muns, councilmembers, students and NTT DATA volunteers sorted food and packaged dry goods for distribution to North Texas families in need. By the end of their shift, they packed 17,326 lbs. of food – that will provide for 14,438 meals — and created 1,151 produce bags!
Intern Kirti Moteka was excited to get to work alongside Mayor Muns and her fellow interns.
“Giving back is great, but when we get to roll up our sleeves next to our mayor, it’s even more meaningful and memorable,” said Kirti Moteka, a rising senior at Plano East Senior High school who’s working in government affairs at the City of Plano. “It’s awesome to see everyone come together and make such a difference in just a few hours!”