It’s an exciting year for Scotland, with several very high profile events happening. On our doorstep in July is the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games - what we call “Glasgow 2014″ - which, after the Olympics and World (soccer) Cup, is the third largest multi-nation sports event in the world. (The Commonwealth Games is sporting celebration among the 53 member states that were mostly territories of the former British Empire). As the official network infrastructure supporter for Glasgow 2014, we are proud to say that Cisco technology will help make the third biggest multi-nation sports competition be more connected than ever.
As part of our involvement, a number of Cisco employees were nominated to take part in the Queen’s Baton Relay. Like the Olympic Torch Relay, the Queen’s Baton Relay is attracting huge engagement from people all over the Commonwealth. I was lucky enough to be selected to represent Cisco in the relay, as a result of my “giving back” participation in our “Ride Across Britain” cycle (where, over the past few years, we have raised tens of thousands of pounds for ParalymicsGB each year) and work with local universities. The video here shows some “point of view” film from my participation in the small town of Uddingston in Scotland, which is close to where I stay and to the local Cisco Scotland office. It was both exciting and humbling to see the large number of people out on the street to see the baton relay and support the baton bearers -- the town center in particular was “mobbed”! And it was a huge change from my usual “day job” working in Data Center and Software Defined Networking services!
Cisco has supported the communities where its employees live and work for close to 30 years. We leverage our resources and technology to multiply individual and nonprofit efforts to improve people’s lives. One area Cisco focuses on is improving student performance in education, particularly in underserved communities. Cisco is therefore proud to partner with nonprofit City Year, a member of the AmeriCorps network. City Year recruits recent college grads who devote one year to help at-risk students stay in school.
Cisco is a national leadership sponsor of City Year and a local team sponsor in San Jose, California, the home of Cisco headquarters. Cisco funding recently supported 8 dedicated corps members at the Cesar Chavez Elementary School. Working full time for 10 months, corps members help high-risk students improve attendance, behavior, and course performance in English and math—the factors known as the early warning indicators for high school dropouts.
Happy graduation to the City Year team Cisco sponsored at Cesar Chavez Elementary School
Today, The Guardian newspaper published an article featuring Cisco partner Digital Divide Data – a nonprofit social enterprise that hires workers for data services jobs in the some of the world’s poorest places, and gives them the education, training, and career counseling they need to rise into the middle class.
“Our ultimate mission is to alleviate poverty,” says Jeremy Hockenstein, 42, founder and CEO of DDD, in the article. “We focus on students who are finishing high school, who are very motivated and very smart and who come from low-income homes.”
Digital Divide Data gives impoverished youth the education, training, and career counseling they need to rise into the middle class.
This week in 9 Cisco offices around the world, 220 senior executives modeled some of Cisco’s core values by volunteering to mentor 400 students in STEM (science, technology, education and math). Cisco has been actively engaged in helping the communities in which our employees live and work since the company started in 1984. We do that by donating resources and product to global and community nonprofits and by encouraging our employees to volunteer. Cisco’s volunteer program started in 1992 and often includes matching cash grants for hours that employees work.
Cisco CEO John Chambers addresses Cisco senior leaders and 100 Girls Scouts at Cisco Headquarters in San Jose, California
Last week, Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina was announced as a winning city in the US2020 City Competition! Cisco is a founding corporate partner of US2020, which is dedicated to igniting a movement of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) mentorship across the United States. My work supporting the US2020 City Competition initiative, on behalf of Cisco in RTP, afforded me the great privilege of being 1 of 4 people from our community who visited the White House to hear this great news. It was a full day, and one that I will never forget!