Through the excitement and activity around #GivingTuesday, a national day of giving meant to kickstart the generosity of the holiday season and highlight all the good in the world, we thought it most appropriate to announce our ongoing commitment to our longtime nonprofit partner, Teach for America (TFA), and to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.
Our future innovators are sitting in classrooms right now and with partners like Teach for America, we hope to get these students excited about STEM subjects and lead them toward a career in the technology industry. We have supported the work of TFA’s STEM recruitment for a number of years, but this year we have a more direct focus on recruiting diverse STEM educators. We have a common goal to reach those students who are underrepresented in the engineering profession – whether because of their geography, skin color, or income status. The best way to do that is through educators and role models who look like them, with similar backgrounds and experiences.
Secondly, but just as important, a portion of our grant will celebrate the innovation happening in Teach for America classrooms around the United States. New this year, our Symantec Innovation Awards will be open for current corps members and alumni to apply from anywhere in the United States. Whereas previously, we have focused on cities where Symantec has a major presence, we want to be sure to capture the ingenuity and innovation happening all over the nation. Applicants from Teach for America will apply to win a $2500 cash prize based on their innovation, collaboration, and measured results in their classroom. We’ll also ask YOU to vote for the winners - more to come on this once the contest is open!
With the contribution we are announcing on #GivingTuesday of $500,000 over the next two years, our cumulative support for Teach for America has reached $4,000,000! We are humbled by the work TFA has accomplished; notably, corps members have positively impacted the academic trajectories of more than 3 million children since 1991…and that number continues to grow.
Jaime Barclay is Symantec's Philanthropy Program Manager.