Last night, Cisco received the Corporate Service Award at the 12th-annual Friends of National Service Awards in Washington, DC. The event was hosted by the National Conference on Citizenship and Voices for National Service. Pat Finn, senior vice president for public sector, accepted the award on behalf of Cisco.
Cisco has been a strong supporter of the concept of national service for more than a decade. For instance, we provide cash and product grants to organizations like City Year and Teach for America, which place college graduates in underserved schools for one or two years. “National service is a win-win for our society,” said Tae Yoo, Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs of Cisco. “In communities across the country, national service programs benefit both the individuals served and the individuals who step forward to serve. Cisco is proud to be a part of the national service movement, and looks forward to expanding service opportunities in America.”
Cisco was among a group of legislators and advocates honored on Tuesday night, including Governors Terry Branstad of Iowa and Rick Snyder of Michigan, U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch of Utah and Patty Murray of Washington, U.S. Representative Hal Rogers of Kentucky, Jonathan Lavine of Bain Capital, and Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson. Voices for National Service President AnnMaura Connolly said, “Cisco has been integral to the national service moment for decades. Cisco has generously shared both financial and technological resources to support national service programs and Cisco employees are always quick to roll up their sleeves to share their time and expertise. We are honored to recognize Cisco among this year’s honorees.”
In 2014, Cisco announced its commitment to The Service Year — an initiative that encourages and enables more young Americans to spend a year in full-time national service. We believe doing so will unleash a reservoir of human capital to tackle pressing social challenges, unite diverse Americans in common purpose, and cultivate the next generation of leaders. Being an IT company, we are specifically supporting development of the Service Year Exchange (SYx), a technology platform that will connect young people with organizations offering national service opportunities and donors who want to support them through crowd funding.
“Cisco transforms communities and lives through innovation,” said Ilir Zherka, National Conference on Citizenship Executive Director, in a press release about the Friends of National Service Awards. “They’re now using that same expertise to revolutionize the national service movement through the Service Year exchange. Thanks to Cisco’s generous funding and insights, the Service Year exchange is poised help expand national service by making funding, hosting, and serving more accessible than ever before.”
According to a report by Voices for National Service, the skills people acquire during their national service make them more likely to be employed and to earn higher salaries over the course of their lifetimes. Sixty-seven percent of AmeriCorps state and national members and 70% of AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps members reported that their service experiences provided them with an advantage in finding a job. While serving, young people acquire expertise that is particularly relevant to the rapidly growing nonprofit sector – the third largest industry in America’s economy, employing 10.5 million workers, or one tenth of our workforce.
Voices for National Service reports that for every federal dollar invested in national service, there are returns to society of nearly $4 in terms of higher earnings, increased output, and other community-wide benefits.
Get involved in The Service Year as a service member, donor, or organization — visit youserve.org.