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Corporate Responsibility in Action

My Volunteer Experience - HopeWorks 'N Camden

Created: 11 Nov 2010 • Updated: 11 Nov 2010 • 1 comment
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Fate helped me find a great way to give back and make the world a little better. 

Approxiamately ten years ago I was on a plane going to visit a customer in Lancaster, PA. I found myself sitting next to a Jesuit priest who was just starting a nonprofit in Camden, NJ. HopeWorks 'N Camden's goal was to help bring technology and literacy skills to at-risk inner city youth. 

I remember thinking to myself that if I really believed in my department's motto that education powers people, then what a great group to help. So I took the opportunity to help this organization. 

Camden at first glance is really bleak place. It's considered one of the poorest cities in the nation - nearly 50 percent of the city's young people live in poverty. The high school dropout rate is nearly 70 percent, and 34 percent of the city's young people are unemployed. However, once I met some of the youth I saw a very different Camden - one where hope through education is alive and well. 

In the ensuing ten years I have worked with over 70 of my fellow employees at Veritas and Symantec to assist this organization. More to the point I have personally seen six youth achieve success in college. I decided if I could help one of these young people succeed in achieving their goals it would be worth my efforts.    

The old cliché is so true: I have gained far more than I have given to this organization. I look forward to many more opportunities to help these youth achieve their dreams.


Sue Rich is a senior principal learning consultant with Symantec's Consulting & Managed Services organization.

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