This 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.
When you have a regular paycheck, a roof over your head, your health, and a fully stocked refrigerator, it’s easy to focus on other activities of daily living.
But when you lack one or all of these things, your focus is on surviving.
I know all this from first-hand experience. As a child, I helped my mom, who doesn’t speak English, apply for public assistance in times of great family need. I had to research and complete, on behalf of my parents, food, health, and unemployment forms and job applications, translating them from English to Spanish and vice versa. We used buses to go from one agency to the next, and sometimes going back and forth to the same organization. There was no one to point us the right way or direct us around pitfalls, as we worked toward stabilizing our day-to-day lives, and eventual self-sufficiency and economic independence.
Electric trading markets that allow consumers to procure blocks of energy directly from generation providers have existed for a long time, but have tended to be in areas with highly stable distribution systems with access limited to large consumers. Customer segmentation within electricity markets has therefore been limited, with utilities defining tariffs and establishing service reliability based on customer type: residential, commercial, or industrial. However, technology platform enhancements have enabled smaller consumers to participate in electric trading markets and enabled system operators with a less stable grid to provide this service.
The result is that consumers, and not just the utility companies, can define the characteristics and pricing for their electric service.
For Cisco, this change is allowing us to purchase electricity in one of our most important, but least reliable and highest-carbon locations — Bangalore, India — in a new way that reflects our requirements for availability and environmental impact.
As we prepare to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, I am reflecting on so many factors that led to where I am today. My mother grew up in India when the path for most women was not one of higher education and a professional life. Yet, with the support of her family, she pursued an advanced degree and became an internationally acclaimed scientist. At a time when arranged marriages were the standard, she met my father and they wed in a non-traditional “love marriage.” With her quiet strength, she was a pioneer, and her experience and outlook helped shape who I am and the path I have taken.
I, too, had the support of my family to pursue dreams of a college degree and professional career, and to be a wife and mother. But many girls and women are not afforded these opportunities, a lack of access which leads to millions trapped in a cycle of poverty, abuse, and poor health—an inherent inequality—where 66 million girls around the world are not in school, 150 million girls are victims of sexual violence each year, and the number 1 cause of death for girls ages 15 to19 is childbirth.
Cisco is proud to sponsor the DoGooder Video Awards for the third year in a row. These awards recognize the creative and effective use of video in promoting social good.
The submissions included a wide array of funny, moving, and informative videos that embraced strong storytelling to communicate important messages. It was a difficult task, but the DoGooder Team has chosen the finalists -- and now it’s up to the public to choose the winners.
Visit the contest site today and cast your vote. Public voting is open through March 10, 2014.