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Cisco Mudders Give Back Military-Style

“This isn’t about charity—it’s about giving back to the military.”

These were the words of the DJ as participants knelt down on one knee at the starting line of Tough Mudder, an 11+ mile course with 20+ military style obstacles. I took this challenge last weekend at Northstar Ski Resort by Lake Tahoe with four other Cisco employees, plus three friends.

Cisco employees raise money for wounded veteransCisco employee John Milo on the Log Jammin’ Obstacle at the Tough Mudder Norcal 2012

Tough Mudder benefits the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that helps empower and support post-9/11 veterans as they heal their physical wounds (such as lost limbs) and emotional wounds (such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and re-assimilate into society. Many Wounded Warriors completed the course alongside us.

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Exposing the Best-Kept Secret: Doing Good Behind Closed Doors

Doing good is not that easy, and sustaining good on a grand scale is almost impossible. But once again it is being done at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting, Sept 22 to 24. I like to say it’s a place where highly influential people go behind closed doors to do good.

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, CGI convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI annual meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and nongovernmental organizations, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries.

As part of our involvement in CGI, Cisco along with several nonprofit, NGO, and government partners, made a 4-year investment to support ICT-driven development strategies in five countries in sub-Saharan Africa — primarily through establishment of locally managed and self-sustaining community knowledge centers (CKCs).

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Recruiters, Managers Recognize the Value Military Veterans Bring to the Corporate Workforce

This post was written by Steve Vann, a military recruiter at Cisco

Vernon Bennett is a shining example of Cisco’s initiative to hire military veterans. Vernon spent more than 20 years in the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard and also has years of experience in the civilian sector: a combination that is desirable to Cisco’s recruiters and hiring managers.

As a military recruiter for Cisco, I work with veterans across the United States, helping them find job opportunities at our company. I typically cater to two types of veterans: those just transitioning out of the military who are a great fit for many entry-level roles, and those who have been out of the military for a while and have developed civilian skills.

A few weeks ago, a flurry of emails crossed my desk. Vernon’s résumé was attached and he was looking for a role with Cisco in our Research Triangle Park, North Carolina office. Recruiters, hiring managers, veteran employees, and members of our Veterans Enablement and Troop Support Employee Resource Group all wanted to contact him – both because he had just the right combination of civilian and military skills and because our veteran employees are always looking for opportunities to support our veterans.

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Featured Nonprofit Partner: One Global Economy

At Cisco, our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy centers on a simple question: How can we use the power of the Internet to benefit individuals and communities? More often than not, the answer involves collaborating with other organizations– nonprofits, government agencies, or healthcare facilities, for example–to multiply the impact technology can have.

I’d like to introduce you to one of those partners: One Global Economy. This Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit provides people in underserved communities with greater access to technology, Internet connectivity, online content–and the training and support to use it all.

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What Helps Students Love Math?

multiply impact on students math skills

Photo courtesy of MIND Research Institute

Encouraging highly successful nonprofits to collaborate with each other on shared goals can often be a challenge. Part of their success hinges on laser-like execution of their own program and on getting results. But occasionally, two programs are so complementary that the combination greatly magnifies what they could ever achieve on their own. Cisco has been a longtime partner and supporter of both City Year, an education-focused nonprofit working in underserved schools, and MIND Research Institute, provider of innovative math learning software. Both held admirably strong track records with their approaches. City Year places young volunteers in schools to assist with multi-subject tutoring, before, during, and after school, in a Whole School, Whole Child approach. City Year staff measure their results by tracking what they call the ABCs: attendance, behavior, and classroom performance in literacy and math.

CityYearMIND

Photo courtesy of City Year

MIND Research provides ST Math, a set of cloud-based learning games for K-12. These games are non-language based, which has helped students succeed in learning math regardless of their language of origin, gender, and even, in some cases, learning disabilities. Two years ago, it occurred to Cisco’s Community Relations lead, Ricardo Benavides, that combining the programs in the same underserved Alum Rock district schools in the San Jose, California area might lead to even better outcomes. Read More »

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