Industry News

PPG’s New Paint for a New Start Initiative Transforms Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College in Denver

PPG announced that it has completed a colorful and transformative makeover at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College in Denver through its global New Paint for a New Start initiative, part of the company’s COLORFUL COMMUNITIES® program.

The project brought together more than 30 PPG employee volunteers to beautify the space with a fresh coat of paint in the school’s classrooms, hallways and offices and a vibrant mural in the music hallway. This will total over 60 gallons of PPG ULTRALAST™ Interior Paint that delivers unprecedented washability and is powered by proprietary PPG CLEAN SURFACE TECHNOLOGY®.

“PPG employees from every region are coming together once again to protect and beautify schools and learning spaces to inspire bright starts for students,” said Malesia Dunn, executive director, PPG Foundation and Corporate Global Social Responsibility. “For young students, every day is an opportunity for a new start to learn, grow and develop in a positive learning environment. We are aiming to help them start each day with a positive outlook and create joyful spaces where they feel supported and engaged.”

The nationally acclaimed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College serves college-bound students in grades six through 12. Benefiting from a rigorous college prep curriculum, a strong school culture, zealous support from staff, and a variety of learning opportunities. The students are well-prepared for post-secondary education plans and beyond. The New Paint for a New Start project created a colorful and beautiful space that will be enjoyed by more than 1,300 students and educators.

“We are so grateful for the hard work that was put into this incredible transformation today,” said Mindi Onwuegbu, Communication Specialist, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College. “Thank you to PPG for graciously donating paint, products and time to give back to our students.”

In the second year of New Paint for a New Start, PPG employees around the world are volunteering their time throughout the months of June, July and August to transform more than 25 schools. Using PPG paint products and color expertise, each project aims to create engaging spaces for students to learn and grow.

In addition to painting spaces, PPG supplied Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College with funding for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The school will use the grant to enhance their STEM efforts and support programs like state competitions and certification classes.

“Through our global Colorful Communities program, PPG employees come together to protect and beautify special places where we live and work,” said Jaime Irick, PPG senior vice president, Architectural Coatings, US and Canada and Global Traffic Solutions. “The goal today was to help create an engaging space for diverse students to learn, grow, and become agents of change in their community and global society. I’m confident that the team here today accomplished just that.”

Most of the worldwide transformation projects use a single global color palette that PPG color experts specifically selected to elevate and enhance the physical classroom environments. The palette includes Vining Ivy (PPG1148-6), which is the 2023 PPG Color of the Year, or regional colors inspired by it. At the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College, volunteers used a color palette of Swirling Smoke (PPG1007-2), Gypsum (PPG1006-1) and many more. The project also included an element of environmental sustainability.

The Colorful Communities program, PPG’s signature initiative for supporting communities, aims to protect and beautify the neighborhoods where PPG operates around the world. Through the Colorful Communities program, PPG’s committed volunteers contribute their time and PPG paint products to help transform community assets – from painting classrooms to bringing color to a maternity ward and redesigning a playground. Since 2015, PPG has completed more than 470 Colorful Communities projects, impacting more than 8.2 million people in 50 countries.

PPG’s global community engagement efforts and the PPG Foundation aim to bring color and brightness to PPG communities around the world. We invested $16.2 million in 2022, supporting hundreds of organizations across more than 35 countries. By investing in educational opportunities, we help grow today’s skilled workforce and develop tomorrow’s innovators in fields related to coatings and manufacturing. Plus, we empower PPG employees to multiply their impact for causes that are important to them by supporting their volunteer efforts and charitable giving. Learn more at