Improving the World One Person at a Time

Improving the World is part of our mission to achieving Vision 2016.  Celanese is actively working on this by instituting the Celanese Foundation and the Celanese International Impact program.  These activities will have a broad impact on many people throughout the world.  Another way we can improve the world is by doing this one person at a time.  If each one of us can make a difference for someone in need, the world would definitely be improved. I’d like to share my “one-person-at-a-time” story.

When I ran the Gobi March in 2012, I learned how to establish a charity. The process for establishing a charity took some research.  This is especially the case when setting up a tax deductible (501c3 charity.   Luckily, there are organizations that can walk you through the process and help you set up a web site, process donations and disperse funds to the needy recipients.

Through my Gobi March experience, I created the David de Oliveira Scholarship Fund to help disadvantaged high school students from Newark, New Jersey, go to college. Here’s a little background on my experience and the namesake of this charity.

About the David De Oliveira Memorial Scholarship Fund

It is challenging for some to overcome the pitfalls of growing up in an inner city in the the United States.  In the city of Newark, one in two public high school students will not graduate.  Those who do transcend these challenges  with determination and the help of strong families, the right friends and mentors from the community to guide them on the correct path. When I was growing up in Newark, my track coach Ollie Dickerson was one of my mentors that I credit for keeping me on the path that has led me to the person I am today.  

For this generation of Newark East Siders, Dave De Oliveira was that positive influence.  Dave was East Side Highs girl’s volleyball coach who led the school to their first-ever state tournament. Unfortunately last year, at the age of 37, Dave lost his battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.  Daves dedication and determination pushed him to coach and mentor throughout the debilitating stages of his disease. 

Once again, I ran the Gobi March this past June and did so  to raise money for the Dave De Oliveira Memorial Scholarship Fund. This scholarship will help an eager Newark East Side student with financial need go to college and continue the path to their dreams.  Its a way to give back to the community that helped raise me and honor someone who gave selflessly throughout his life.  The support and generosity of many Celanese employees and friends resulted in three students being awarded $1,000 scholarships.  In addition, the school was able to remember a coach that inspired his students to dream big. I’m thankful for the opportunity to Improve the World and even more grateful that Celanese encourages us to do the same in our personal lives. Please enjoy the images and my experiences outlined in these few photos.

Figure 1-3: The Gobi March is 250K adventure race takes competitors through some of the harshest conditions on the planet by passing through the Turpan depression and over Shipton’s Arch (Heaven’s Gate).  All competitors must carry their own survival needs including food, clothing, sleep gear, and safety equipment. 

Figure 4-6: David de Oliveira was East Side Highs girls volleyball coach who led the school to their first ever state tournament. In 2012, at the age of 37, Dave lost his battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.   Daves dedication and determination pushed him to coach and mentor throughout the debilitating stages of his disease.

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About the author


				John Caamano is Vice President of Sales Americas. He has been with Celanese 27 years. He is married with 3 children. In addition to running, he holds black belts in both Judo and Shotokan Karate.				

There are 2 comments. Add yours.

  1. Gretchen Rosswurm says:

    John, thanks for sharing your inspiring story about the difference one person can make. You”re a boss to run the Gobi March.

  2. mark rohr says:

    John what a fantastic story. It is amazing what a difference individuals can make when committed to do so. Your a great example for all of us.

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