Working Together to Make the Dream a Reality
At State Farm, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message lives on.
Paying it forward, practicing social equality and preaching compassion are three key components of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. A federal holiday since 1986, MLK Day is also a national day of service. It's a day where all Americans are encouraged to volunteer to lend a hand and make a difference in their communities. It's a day that's very important for State Farm®, and all across the organization, people are doing their part to make things better for all of us.
People like Prince Hutchinson.
Prince gets to put his passion into action through his community engagement role at State Farm
Almost two years into his new role, Prince Hutchinson still can't believe it.
"When I first joined State Farm 14 years ago, I never would have dreamed I'd be doing what I'm doing."
Prince's official title at State Farm is "technology analyst," but he doesn't spend his days behind a desk working on coding or programming or anything, well, "technical."
Instead, Prince is 100 percent devoted to community engagement, helping promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Through his role, Prince interacts with kids from grades K-12, teaching them about the benefits of STEM and some of the doors it can open.
"Knowing your options is so important," said Prince. "A lot of times kids look at a big company like State Farm and think 'There's nothing there for me' and I'm here to tell you, that's just not the case."
Prince started as an underwriter and over the years has had many different roles before his current position, one which he says is a perfect fit.
"I'm able to do something I'm passionate about, community involvement, and I'm able to give back to others in a way that could really change their lives."
Prince volunteering in July, 2019 at Alpha Scholars, a mentoring program for young men in the Dallas area. "We teach the kids about financial literacy, public speaking, dinner etiquette, and even how to tie a tie!"
A Pleasant Surprise
In honor of MLK Day, Prince recently helped organize a youth mentoring summit. The event, called "Pursuit 2 Greatness," paired 200 minority males from 6th-12th grade with mentors from State Farm, a non-profit called the Onward and Upward Empowerment Foundation (OUEF) and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the nation's first Black Greek Letter fraternal organization.
"Dr. King was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha," said Prince, who's also a proud member of the fraternity. "His message was an important part of what I learned from Alpha, and it's great to be able to help put it into action today."
The 90-minute sessions were designed to teach kids about things that may not get taught in schools, like career readiness, financial literacy and mental health. In addition, they received some practical, real-world career advice.
Prior to the event, attendees answered questions like 'What's your post-graduation plan?' and 'What's the most important thing you're looking for in a career?'
"We wanted to see where their interests were to see if there was a match at State Farm," Prince said. More often than not, the students found that there was.
"That surprised a lot of kids," he said.
One of Many
The Pursuit 2 Greatness event was a success, but it wasn't the only event State Farm held to commemorate MLK Day.
Some of the many donations collected at the Pop-Up Grocery
Here's a look at just some of the events and activities State Farm hosted to celebrate Dr. King's legacy:
- Employees helped create a "Pop-up" Grocery store to provide families in need with food supplies.
- "Real Talk" Sessions were held to promote honest and open dialogue on issues of racial equality and social justice.
- Employees across State Farm participated in the MLK Day of Service Challenge, an event designed to promote community engagement.
Through the years, State Farm has provided support to initiatives, associations and events memorializing MLK Jr. Here are some of the highlights:
- Since 1984, State Farm has contributed to community centers, celebrations, scholarships and commissions related to MLK Jr. with donations amounting to more than $1.3 million.
- In 2006, we donated $1 million toward the construction of the MLK Jr. Memorial in Washington DC.
- In 2019, State Farm partnered with the Atlanta Hawks, The King Family and Mayor Keisha Bottoms to unveil a new outdoor basketball court near the MLK Jr. Recreation and Aquatic Center. Employees and agents provided a free grocery shopping experience to senior citizens following this event.
- State Farm contributed $1 million toward construction of the Operation HOPE headquarters at the King Center. Operation HOPE is an American non-profit organization including locations in Arizona, Georgia, Illinois and Texas. State Farm supports its financial literacy, youth entrepreneurship and first time homebuyer programs.