The truism that no two human beings are exactly the same today is more evident than ever. Our distinct personal backgrounds and disparate experiences form what we see and how we feel. Those differences are especially recognized and celebrated on the Fourth of July. And, within the ExxonMobil family, reflections on key American themes – freedom, community, family, opportunity and expression – provide insight into that diversity seen every day.

Here are the reflections of five ExxonMobil employees:


“Opportunities come when we look beyond our circumstances. I can trace where I am today back to those who looked beyond themselves. My grandparents started with only what they could carry after World War II and my parents built opportunities for me by emphasizing education, hard work and perseverance. I benefitted and learned from their example.” Paul Tanaka helps PhDs think outside the box in Clinton, New Jersey.


“My concept of family is generous. I’m blessed to be surrounded by family members beyond my blood relatives. They may not have my last name or my genes, but they support me and pick me up as if they did.” Myles May is a console operator at the Mont Belvieu Plastics Plant in Texas. His father Benny also works at the Mont Belvieu Plastics Plant, reviewing procedures and permits.


“Expression means watching my thoughts slowly develop into real, impactful change.” Chude Chike-Obi is a project engineer for construction at the Mont Belvieu Plastics Plant in Texas.


“Freedom comes from being at peace with yourself and knowing that your choices matter and are respected by others. Freedom is not only physical, it’s a state of mind that can contribute to leading an impactful life.” Maria Likhogrud is researching algae as a biofuel in Clinton, New Jersey.


“My community is defined by more than just those whom I share the same physical space with. We may not have the same background, practice the same religion or even look the same, but we share common values or goals. Those are the magnets that help draw people into my life.” Jessica Akindele-Alo works on environmental protection in Houston.


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In their own words