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Delivering Education And Mental Health Care to the Arctic Circle

April 8, 2014 at 11:25 am PST

willa_black_lo_resThis post was written by Willa Black, Director of Corporate Affairs for Cisco Canada, and was originally published on the Huffington Post.

The territory of Nunavut, Canada is incredibly cold and remote. It’s roughly a four-hour plane ride north of Toronto, with temperatures well below the freezing mark for eight months of the year, dark in the winter months and light all summer long. The communities in the north face unprecedented challenges. The school dropout rates average around 75 percent by the time students hit Grade 8. There is high incidence of youth mental health problems and suicide -- the highest in the world. And yet, there is much hope and potential in this corner of our planet. And a deep, rich Inuit culture and tradition that informs us all as Canadians. When Cisco Canada set out to build a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program for Canada, it didn’t take long for us to connect the dots and understand the vital role we could play in bringing much-needed services to our most remote communities.

On April 2, Cisco Canada officially announced Connected North, a program that leverages our core competence in Internet, networking and collaboration solutions. Our first stop in the development of our strategy was Inuit Tapiriit Kunatami — the organization of the Inuit people of Canada. Their direction was clear: Find a way to make the classrooms more exciting. Help to stem the high dropout rates.

We knew video held the key.

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Cisco Celebrates International Girls in ICT Day

April 7, 2014 at 11:18 am PST

Women earn 57% of all U.S. undergraduate degrees but only 18% of undergraduate computer and information sciences degrees, according to the National Center for Women in Technology. Yet according to U.S. Department of Labor estimates, more than 1.4 million computing-related job openings will exist by 2020, with only enough computer degree graduates to fill 30% of them.

And globally, women comprise less than a third of workers in the computer science, engineering, and physics fields in some of the world’s key emerging economies, according to a report by Women in Global Science & Technology.

Attracting more girls and women to the technology field benefits women, their families, their communities, and the businesses they work for. Women are powerful catalysts for change in any society: When women are able to earn an income, they typically reinvest 90 percent of it back into their families and communities.

To help tap this valuable talent pool and attract more women to careers in the information and communications technology (ICT) field, Cisco is participating in Girls in ICT Day – an international event organized by the by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

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Cisco Hosts Future Women Leaders from Tunisia

April 1, 2014 at 11:45 am PST

rbartmesThis post was written by guest blogger Richard Bartmess, a Cisco IT analyst.

Inspired by the 2011 Tunisian Revolution and the demand for more freedom, transparency, and democracy, Afràa is determined to fight against corruption and to help lead her country forward. Imane has a master’s degree and works in an engineering field dominated by men. Neila co-founded a political party that won four seats in Tunisia’s National Constituent Assembly.

Afràa, Imane, and Neila are just 3 of the 17 women from Tunisia who visited Cisco today as part of the Women’s Initiative Fellowship of the George W. Bush Institute.  The Women’s Initiative Fellowship is designed to enhance the leadership skills of women around the world, with a focus on women in the Middle East and Africa.

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Cisco Volunteers Helping to Feed the Hungry

March 31, 2014 at 8:00 am PST

Little known to most people, including residents of Houston, Texas, there is a peanut butter cannery here, and it is capable of producing over 1 million jars of peanut butter a year. Thanks to the coordination efforts of Terry Edge, a Cisco Channels Manager, two teams of Cisco employee volunteers produced 12,595 jars -- 21,254 pounds -- of peanut butter this month.

Group Photo of Cisco Volunteers

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NetRiders Competitions Challenge Future Architects of the Internet of Everything

March 28, 2014 at 1:11 pm PST

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 1.33.02 PMThis post was written by guest blogger Tracy Granlund, a project manager with the Networking Academy Student Advocacy Team

Earlier this year, we had the privilege of hosting the 19 winners from the 2013 Cisco Networking Academy International NetRiders competitions on a week-long study trip to Cisco’s headquarters in San Jose, California.

What is NetRiders? These competitions are open to students currently or recently enrolled in a Cisco Networking Academy course. Through them, students learn valuable networking and IT skills through a series of online exams and simulation activities.

During the week-long study trip, some of the winners shared their thoughts on Cisco Networking Academy and the NetRiders competitions in the Cisco TV studio.

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