Avanade Gives – After-School All-Stars
- Posted on September 25, 2017
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Our “Avanade Gives” monthly blog series showcases the fantastic community initiatives that our people support across the globe. This month Michele Pares shares her experience helping develop the digital skills of young people in New York City.
Avanade’s Corporate Citizenship program makes a genuine impact in our communities by supporting our people and their passions, enabling them to go above and beyond to impact peoples’ lives. This was exemplified in the North East Region in the United States, where we recently partnered with After School All-Stars (ASAS).
ASAS is a national program whose mission is to provide comprehensive after-school and summer programs that keep children safe, healthy and, ultimately, help them succeed in school and in life. ASAS strives to close the opportunity gap that exists between low income youth and their upper income peers. In New York City alone, ASAS serves over 1100 youth every day providing homework help, enrichment activities and health and fitness programming. ASAS believes that if they are thoughtful and strategic about their programs and the way they help shape how these children spend their extended learning time, they will have a profound impact on their lives.
We chose to partner with ASAS not only because it is an exceptional organization, but because we believe in their mission and goal. With colleges having an increased focus on students with resumes demonstrating out of school engagement, the opportunities Avanade, in partnership with ASAS, can provide are not just a bonus, they’re a necessity.
Our first event with ASAS was on July 11th at our office in New York City. We hosted 15 young people aged 10-13 for an afternoon to develop their digital skills. They got to meet our team of volunteers from Avanade, learning about the many potential career paths that exist within technology as well as getting to see where the “magic” happens with a tour of our Innovation Lab. They learned about different aspects of design before putting their knowledge into practice: coding their own games that they could then play and share with their friends. It was so rewarding to see the excited faces of the young people taking part as they were amazed at what they could accomplish. They were so engaged and asked such intelligent questions. One young person said to me, “Wow, I can’t believe I actually did this!” and I heard another comment that they would create their own game one day and everyone would be playing it.
We had 12 volunteers from Avanade who gave their time willingly and prepared for this visit to make sure it was fun, interactive and most of all beneficial to the young people taking part. The event was so successful and created such a buzz in the office that our volunteers are very keen to participate again, with many who were unable to make it to this event now asking when they will get their turn!
For me, there isn’t anything more rewarding than seeing a child go from “I can never do that” to “I will do that and now I know how.” Being selfless will always be worthwhile and impactful. I’m very proud to have been involved in Corporate Citizenship at Avanade and of what we have achieved today with ASAS.