This blog was originally published on Cisco’s internal employee website.
“Follow your dreams. Don’t be afraid. Hold your heads high!”
These were the words shared by Alison Gleeson, Cisco’s Senior Vice President of Americas Sales and Jordi Botifoll, Cisco’s President of the Latin America Theater, to students at a recent Cisco Networking Academy event during Cisco Live! Cancun.
The 30 students came from Mexico’s Yucatan and Quintana Roo area. They come from primarily underprivileged neighborhoods, but these young men and women are trying to make a better life for themselves and their families by pursuing careers in technology.
Today, I’m delighted to announce the release of Cisco’s eleventh annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report. Cisco technology is an integral part of the Internet, and in the digitized era we enable the connections between people, processes, data, and things in ways that create social, environmental and economic impact. These connections make amazing things possible, and we’re just getting started. For this year’s full report, click here.
Every day, more and more people and things come online, and each connection brings with it unique and infinite possibilities. Whether it is connected education and healthcare, smarter cities, disaster relief and response, or more efficient government services, the sheer amount of these and future connections will not only drive business improvements, but also play a key role in resolving our most critical social issues. From water scarcity to hunger to economic inequality, these issues are challenging and complex, but also hold huge opportunities for governments, businesses, and communities to drive change.
Earlier this year, Cisco senior system engineer Josh Kittle attended Cisco Live in San Diego and had his first encounter with the Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team – a group of students who are given the chance to gain real-world experience setting up massive networks at high-profile events like Cisco Live and the NBA All-Star Game.
The Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team at Cisco Live US 2015 in San Diego, California
Josh is a former Cisco Networking Academy instructor, one of almost 9,500 who have taught 5.5 million students IT skills worldwide since 1997. The Networking Academy curriculum is licensed free of charge to learning institutions and is Cisco’s largest and longest-running Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. Our courses provide in-depth technology training in the latest networking, security, and cloud technologies, preparing students for in-demand jobs and globally recognized certification.
Josh described the Dream Team as a way for Networking Academy students to gain “real-world experience at the logistics and execution of network design, installation, and support – at a hyper-accelerated pace.”
Today in the United States is Veterans Day, where we give thanks to the millions of veterans who have served our country in wartime and peace. Originally called Armistice Day in honor of the cessation of hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in World War 1 on the 11th hour of the 11th day of November 1918, Congress changed the name to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor American veterans of all wars.
In June 2011, Cisco started a corporate veterans program focused on helping veterans find career jobs and establishing career training resources. The veterans program augments Cisco’s successful employee organization, the Veterans Enablement and Troop Support Employee Resource Organization (Vets ERO). The Vets ERO consists of eight chapters and supports service members, active and retired, here and abroad, by creating greater awareness of veteran causes and helping veterans connect in our workplace and their local community. Two key activities of the Vets ERO are their annual mid-November Veterans Career Technology Day and mentoring.
For the past 15 years, Cisco’s helped raise more than $40 million and deliver nearly 160 million meals as part of its global hunger relief efforts. We’ve changed millions of lives, and now, we’re expanding our impact beyond the global hunger crisis. Every day, a lack of shelter, access to clean water, and malnutrition cripple underserved communities. Things we take for granted, like the roof over our heads or a simple bottle of water, are a luxury to millions of underserved people around the world. Fortunately, you and I can make a difference, starting today.
As part of Cisco’s new Be the Bridge campaign, employees can support social issues that are important to them or their communities. The campaign, which launched earlier this week, empowers employees to “Be the Bridge” for those in need by providing direct aid to people with uncertain access to life’s necessities. Between now and December 18, Cisco will match employee donations of US$50 or more to over 400 eligible non-profit organizations in 15 different regions around the world.
To kick off the campaign, Cisco campuses in San Jose, India, Texas, and North Carolina hosted volunteer events, where hundreds of employees came together in a collective effort to “Be the Bridge” and create social change.