Three Cisco employees were recently named “Cisco Citizen Teachers of the Year” by Citizen Schools, one of Cisco’s longtime nonprofit education partners.
More than 125 volunteers from Cisco have stepped out of their jobs as engineers, sales executives, and technology professionals to become mentors and “Citizen Teachers,” leading groups of students in 10-week “apprenticeship” classes. Thanks to their commitment to the program, over 700 students have had access to caring mentors and developed an interest in pursuing future careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.
Kimone Gooden, a Business Development Manager, has been a Citizen Teacher for 2 years. She and other members of Cisco’s Connected Women employee resource group coordinated an apprenticeship in Silicon Valley on women in technology.
“I was very happy to discover how much the girls loved the topics. We went from marketing to project management to IT,” Kimone said. “By the end of the apprenticeship they had exposure to instructional knowledge on ten different careers in technology.”
Denise Lombard, Director in Global Procurement Services at Cisco, co-teaches with Kimone. Both women are part of the San Jose Connected Women Outreach Program, which focuses on junior high and high school girls and increasing their awareness and excitement regarding careers in technology.
“Sharing my knowledge and my time to guide and influence these young students to go after what they are passionate about and share with them all the incredible opportunities technology has to offer is truly a gift to me,” Denise said.
The third Cisco Citizen Teacher of the Year is Doug Reagan, a Strategic Account Manager and 4-time Citizen Teacher in New Jersey who has taught an apprenticeship focused on video documentaries. “I think that exposing typically underserved students to more and more of the world outside of their communities is a critical element in showing them how important their education is,” Doug said.
In addition to Cisco employee volunteer support of the Citizen Teacher program, Cisco and the Cisco Foundation have also provided more than US$1.27 million in cash and product grants to Citizen Schools, supporting the organization’s work to provide expanded educational opportunities to underserved students.
Read an in-depth Q&A with the Cisco Citizen Teachers of the Year on the Citizen Schools blog.