Youth & Opportunity
Engineering , Math
Innovate for Good Attendees from Hampton Universities Young Diplomats Program.
Young people today are making a difference all around the world – and through Microsoft YouthSpark, we are committed to helping them realize their potential. Last month, we brought together 90 aspiring changemakers to attend the first Innovate for Good weekend of 2013 in our Washington, DC Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center. Innovate for Good is a program of Microsoft YouthSpark, our company-wide initiative that aims to create opportunities for 300 million young people around the work through education, employment and entrepreneurship.
Asked about their “Wow moment” from the event, one attendee said: “It’s very encouraging to come to a place where I actually fit in. Where I’m around people who are likeminded and actually believe in social change and have the passion to do it. I’m very excited to see all of these projects come about!”
You can see more form the event in the event video below, made by our program partner TakingITGlobal.
Innovate for Good is a global community enabling youth to collaborate, inspire and support each other while using technology to spark change. The event brings together youth interested in social innovation and entrepreneurship, and provide resources and training to help take ideas and projects from concept to reality.
The events also feature inspiring leaders who encourage attendees to realize their dreams. At the DC event, Ronnie Cho, the White House Associate Director for the Office of Public Engagement and President Barack Obama’s Liaison to Young Americans, spoke about the Administration’s support for innovation and entrepreneurship. Cho also emphasized the importance of efforts like Innovate for Good in providing the resources and skills to help young people solve some of the biggest challenges facing our nation.
Ronnie Cho, Associate Director for Public Engagement at the White House, provided opening remarks.
After the event, attendees become a member of the Innovate for Good online community, where they have access to specialized content and resources including Microsoft employee mentoring and funding opportunities. At the event, youth:
· Engage with thought leaders representing a variety of perspectives on today’s economic and social challenges.
· Connect to a network of innovators making a difference in business and society.
· Learn about programs and resources to help you achieve your goals.
· See cutting-edge technologies in action and gain insights on how to apply them.
Check back on Innovate for Good as it travels around the world, with its next stop in New York City!
The need and opportunity mapping exercise demonstrates that no idea is successful without outside help.
Today, we’re hosting our Charlotte YouthSpark Connections event at the Johnson C. Smith University. The event features a conversation with prominent leaders from education, government and the civic community to discuss findings from a recent study on the youth opportunity divide in Charlotte.
As part of the event, the Brookings Institution will share new Microsoft-sponsored research on the state of youth education and opportunity in the Charlotte area. The new research finds that one in four 16 to 24 year-olds in the Charlotte area are not in school and lack anything above a high school diploma. Of that group, nearly half are also unemployed. Meanwhile, many jobs in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are vacant because employers cannot find workers with the skills they need.
With this research in mind, leaders from Microsoft, area non-profits, representatives from the local school systems, and the Mayor’s office will share ideas and provide examples about how they are addressing the unique challenges facing Charlotte area youth. In addition, the event will feature stories of area youth who have overcome the opportunity divide.
Aisha Davis a YouthSpark panelist and Johnson C. Smith University senior will share how Microsoft youth programs helped her learn real-world business and technology skills. As a result of her work, Ms. Davis has accepted a post-graduate position at Microsoft as a Technical Account Manager. Her role will include assisting companies that are using Microsoft technology to ensure they get the most out of their investments.
During today’s event, Microsoft will also provide details on its YouthSpark initiative, a three year commitment to help create 300 million opportunities for young people around the world, and take time to highlight its ongoing work in the Charlotte area.
Event panelists include:
Please view Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx’s video address, where he conveys his excitement about the YouthSpark program and how it will benefit Charlotte residents.
Only one week left! Vote for the “People’s Choice Award” of the Windows 8 Apps for Social Good Contest and help an app maker win $10,000 and a Windows phone.
To vote, simply register an account with NetSquared, click on the project page and add up to three projects to your ballot. The “People’s Choice” judging periods ends at midnight PT on Friday, March 15th.
If you’re having a hard time choosing your top three favorite apps, then see below our handy voter’s guide. We’ve provided brief summaries for all the social good app entries and categorized them. You can click on any of the project names to go to their profile on the voting platform at NetSquared, our contest partner.
I wanna puppy
This app uses Petfinder.com data to let you search for dogs in your area and nationwide for adoption.
Do you know who your local representatives are and how they’re voting? With this app you will. Using your phone’s GPS, it will find your Congress representatives and share their contact information, committee memberships, recent votes, and more.
An application to report and monitor non-emergency problems in your community such as graffiti, vandalism, potholes, damaged sidewalks, broken streetlights, damaged street signs, dangerous intersections, and abandoned vehicles.
STARLIMS Crime Capture Lite
Not for the average person, this app is meant to help investigators better document crime scenes – capture photos or videos, organize evidence collected, document witness details and information, and more. There is even GPS functionality to more accurately detail the location.
Emergency Kit stores your blood type, allergies, medications, any notes, and emergency contacts right in your phone. It also includes a myriad of tools including an SOS light beacon, the ability to send emergency messages that include your GPS coordinates and more.
By analyzing social media trends (processing over 5,000 tweets per hour), Outbreak Watch provides real-time information for public health officials and the general public about what diseases are happening where. Get recent alerts and track where outbreaks are happening, so you can be prepared.
Do you know what to do when an earthquake hits? Are you living in an earthquake-prone area? This app provides latest worldwide earthquake information to the users from USGS sources in easy-to-read format. It also shares guidelines on how to prepare for an earthquake and displays latest earthquake news information.
To increase public awareness of the excessive consumption of greenhouse gases, this app lets you locate all of the alternative fueling stations near you, or the location you specify.
Global Environmental Issues
Want to learn more about environmental issues impacting our world? Then this is the app for you. In addition to a lot of detailed information on everything from climate change to conservation, there are quizzes to test your knowledge and an easy-to-use emissions calculator to figure out your own impact.
Break down cultural barriers and use this app to speak and understand 26 languages in a matter of seconds.
A group app for nonprofit organizations that improves communication, member engagement, and enables mobile donations and fundraisers. Check out their overview video here.
Whether you have specific food allergies, are concerned about local and organic food, or want to make sure that the food you’re eating was humanely-raised, Eatfindr can help you. See the nearest, latest, and the most popular places around you that match your food preferences, check out the menu before deciding to go, and then get directions from your current location.
Health Center currently lets you look up any medication you might be taking, finds out where you can get it and at what cost. There are special features to help underinsured and uninsured folks find affordable medication without membership fees.
Receive tips and advice on cooking, nutrition, green living food storage and more, in this game where you complete steps of varying difficulty and learn more about healthy eating.
Obesity impacts nearly 35% of adults and 17% of children and contributes to a number of health-related conditions including diabetes, high cholesterol, and more. YumvY aims to help by providing fast, easy, and high-quality healthy recipes. It also helps during the cooking process with step-by-step guides, timers, and reminders so that your dish comes out perfect – regardless of if it’s a romantic meal for two or a normal dinner for the whole family.
Bao is a game the app creator came across this game on honeymoon in East Africa, visiting a small village in Malawi. The village kids taught them the game. All of the game’s ad revenue goes to an organization that works to improve the lives of people in Malawi.
Our finest hour
Created by a high school tech club of 50 students in Oregon, this app lets you apply to volunteer and donate to student groups at their high school.
Change by Jolkona
All it takes is 21 days. Research shows that if you can repeat an activity for 21 days it will become a habit. Set a goal, track your progress, and Jolkona will motivate you along the way by showing you how you can also create positive change in the world.
Let your voice be heard. Make something happen. Find like-minded people. Seek help among your neighbors. This is your place for a hyper-local shout out. This is the new, old-fashioned way to interact. This local bulletin board is for you and your community to use – post, browse, and connect with your neighborhood.
This app lets you tag photos on a map based on the location coordinates of the upload. This lets people find visually report and see the social issues happening on-the-ground.
Our Senior Director of Citizenship Akhtar Badshah, who leads Microsoft’s global corporate philanthropy and community initiatives, recently traveled to India to accept an award for Global CSR Excellence and Leadership at the World CSR Congress, where he spoke about Microsoft YouthSpark as an example of a global CSR program.
Akhtar travels a lot, so we snagged him before his next trip – to Jakarta next week to speak in front of 80,000 young people about YouthSpark – for an “Ask Me Anything” session about his India trip.
What’s the most striking difference you see in your international trips now, versus when you joined MSFT eight years ago?
The issue of access to technology is much less. When first travelling into the more remote locations access was a major issue. Now you can get wireless connections just about anywhere. There is someone with a mobile phone even in a remote village. The issue now is what services we are bringing to these communities so that they can benefit from them. Yet poverty still persists and many folks are still living in these same environments for decades – so change for them is still slow.
What is one thing you learned during your visit to India?
People are very resilient – they are always trying to overcome adversity and they do so with a smile. Also people are always investing in the future and in their kids’ education as they believe that is their path out of poverty.
Tell us about the most inspiring young person you met on this trip to India.
I met two girls in Chennai at a training center who come from the Muslim community. They were fully veiled and their parents were very concerned about sending them out of the house yet they were attending classes at this center and want to go on to become doctors. All young people have aspirations and it is our role through our partners to provide them with the opportunity and pathway to do so.
What is your favorite food while traveling in India, what makes it special?
Idli and Dosa – this is South Indian food – Idli is made from rice dough and if white and puffy very light and can be eating with some chutney’s. Dosa is a crepe also made from rice dough. I like eating both mostly for breakfast as they can get a bit heavy, but in South India this is a staple food.
Have you ever danced in the moonlight on the beach in India?
Have done this many decades ago as a young person on my trip to Goa in the early 70’s. Not done that since. Did though dance on the beach in Phuket Thailand on New Year’s eve a year or so ago with the family. Always great to feel the sand under your feet and toes.
If you could have one super power – activated only when you travel -- what would it be and why?
I want a travel transporter – beam me up Scotty -- so I can just get where I need to be without the hassle of travel. I also want a body double so I can be in two places at the same time :-)
When does the Ganges look most romantic – sunset or sunrise?
Sunrise especially at the Ghats in Varanasi when you have all of these folks out there praying at the banks of the river. It just looks mythical and magical.
Akhtar lights the traditional oil camp to inaugurate the Aide et Action class graduation from the Perambur Training Center in Chennai, India. The students completed the YouthSpark course through the center and are learning to become auto mechanics.
Meet Joseph “Hindo” Hindogbae, a 23-year-old from Bumpe, Sierra Leone who built his skills as a social entrepreneur to help improve living conditions in his community.
Bumpe is located in rural Sierra Leone, an area prone to outbreaks of deadly diseases including malaria and cholera, due in part to improper waste management. Hindo saw that people his community did not have the knowledge and training required to support proper waste management, leading to deadly outbreaks, including a cholera outbreak that killed hundreds of people last year. Seeing this knowledge gap and community need motivated Hindo to seek entrepreneurial training to create a workshop for educators, who will use the resources to equip students with the tools and training they need to improve their community’s environment and reduce the rates of diseases such as cholera.
Microsoft YouthSpark partner TakingITGlobal (TIG) supported Hindo’s efforts by providing him with training through the Global Encounters program. Through their mission to empower youth to understand and act on the world’s greatest challenges, TIG provides innovative educational programming giving participants like Hindo the knowledge and tools to develop community-based projects that raise awareness of issues impacting communities.
In partnership with organizations like TakingITGlobal, Microsoft YouthSpark is helping create opportunity for millions of youth around the world.
Support Hindo’s project on GiveforYouth.org to help empower Hindo and the people of Bumpe with real opportunity for a better tomorrow.
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