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Cisco Supports Junior Achievement of Georgia to Help Middle School Students Thrive

Through our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, we aim to give people the skills they need to thrive in a connected world.

To help achieve that vision, the Cisco Foundation recently completed a grant to the Junior Achievement Discovery Center in Gwinnett County, Georgia. The facility, adjacent to the Cisco campus in Lawrenceville, held its grand opening yesterday, with more than 600 attendees. In partnership with Gwinnett County Public Schools, the center will serve more than 25,000 middle school students annually, helping to enhance their financial literacy and build skills for personal and professional success.

JA BizTown® presented by Cisco is one of two interactive venues within the Junior Achievement (JA) Discovery Center at Gwinnett.

JA BizTown® presented by Cisco is one of two interactive venues within the Junior Achievement (JA) Discovery Center at Gwinnett.

The students’ experience begins with 18 in-class lessons of JA provided curriculum, then culminates with a day at JA BizTown presented by Cisco — a venue where students are able to interact within a simulated macro-economy, and take on the role of employee, tax payer, and consumer. During the visit to JA BizTown, students receive unique job assignments and work in teams at their assigned business. By the end of the simulation each student completes a day’s work, develops a personal budget, deposits a paycheck at the bank and makes purchasing decisions.

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An Enduring Commitment to Strengthening Cisco’s Communities

It started one day with a quiet knock on a classroom door where I was volunteering. A student at Joseph George middle-school in East San Jose asked if she could continue building her solar car at lunch time. Soon, she was joined by a one friend, then another. Pretty soon, they would come three or four at a time during snack, lunch, and after school to perfect their vehicles and get them ready for the street.

The students thought they were having fun; but in reality, they were learning the fundamentals of engineering – friction, gear ratios, motors, solar energy and wind resistance. These students, several of whom faced significant struggles early on in their solar car classes, had found a place they could succeed. They approached their solar cars work with a newfound dedication and focus that blew their teachers and parents away.

This opportunity was facilitated by Citizen Schools, a nonprofit organization that works with working professionals to teach volunteer apprenticeships to middle school students in low-income communities. Citizen Schools is one of 92 nonprofit / nongovernmental organizations around the globe that received funding this year through the Cisco Foundation’s signature community granting program, called Community Impact Cash Grants, or CICG for short. One of the core values at Cisco is building strong relationships with partners in the communities in which we operate, and the CICG program is at the heart of those efforts.

Cisco support helps Citizen Schools encourage students to stay in school

Cisco Foundation grant support helps Citizen Schools expand the learning day for underserved middle school students by offering apprenticeships that get them excited about learning and encourage them to stay in school.

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Cisco Networking Academy Students Take Home Top Prizes at WorldSkills Competition

Another amazing World Skills week has come to an end. Congratulations to all participants across the various skills areas, you are all winners!

Some highlights from the week of our Skill 39 competitors, who after months of training finally had the chance to put their hard work to the test during the 4-day competition.


More than 1,100 competitors attended WorldSkills from more than 60 countries and regions in the Americas, Europe, Asia, South Pacific and Africa.


Cisco mentors advised teams during the Digital Challenge at WorldSkills and helped students apply technology to the world’s social problems.

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Digital Challenge Helps Young People Solve Social Challenges in Brazil

What better place to incorporate a Hackathon than at World Skills, an event already bursting with energy and excitement? This year, the organization introduced a Digital Challenge with the goal to help local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with real-world problems, and show that IT-related competitions can be fun and engaging.

As part of the Digital Challenge at World Skills, students will put their technical knowledge to the test while working with local organizations to solve social problems with technology.

Fifteen local Brazilian problem solvers will join 5 past WorldSkills champions to help 5 Brazilian NGOs move social projects forward. The 4-day challenge takes place parallel to the WorldSkills competition and will leave behind a legacy.

The 5 challenges the teams will address are:

  • Opportunities for youth
  • Multiple disabilities game and play
  • Blood donation awareness
  • Recycling and social development
  • Cancer patient support

Learn more about the teams and the challenges.

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Cisco Volunteers, CyberPatriot Inspire Students to Pursue Cybersecurity Careers

Last week, 60 middle and high school students gathered at Cisco campuses in Research Triangle Park (RTP), NC and Richardson, TX for a special cybersecurity camp being offered for the first time by CyberPatriot, the Air Force Association’s national youth cyber education program.

Cisco volunteers worked hands-on with students at last week's CyberPatriot summer camp, inspiring the young men and women to pursue careers in the cybersecurity field.

Cisco volunteers worked hands-on with students at last week’s CyberPatriot summer camp, inspiring the young men and women to pursue careers in the cybersecurity field.

The camp gave students who had little to no cybersecurity experience an opportunity to learn more about cybersecurity and how to safely use the Internet. The students completed the 20-hour curriculum over four days, and on the fifth day, took part in a mock competition similar to the one held at the CyberPatriot National Finals each year in Washington, D.C. It is our hope that this experience will inspire these students to join the CyberPatriot program and ultimately pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and careers. A total of 24 CyberPatriot Camps were offered across the country.

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