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TCS and GE Gas Power partner to bring goIT to Atlanta-based nonprofit Inspiredu
 

TCS has been partnering with GE Power, a world leader in gas power technology, services, and solutions in the US for several years. They are committed to building a world that works. While this is no easy feat, GE recognizes that solving society’s most pressing challenges will require building a pipeline of diverse talent today to create the innovative technologies of tomorrow. It is this shared mindset between TCS and GE that helped pave way for a larger community focused partnership. A partnership that centers around Business with Purpose.

TCS’ Business with Purpose team is embedded within our global TCS Corporate Social Responsibility structure.  It’s the bridge between what we do for businesses and how we meet the needs of our communities.

“Business with Purpose is proud to be able to integrate our industry-leading customers with our CSR programs  for a larger community focus,” said Supratik Bhattacharya, Head  of Business Relationship and Integration, TCS.“BWP  serves as an accelerator for social good by being a connector between purpose-driven organizations andsupporting TCS CSR mission of empowering people and communities.”  

Abhinav Mahajan, a TCS Client Partner  and Dhaval Thakkar, TCS GE Power Relationship Manager, recognized the synergies in GE Power’s community engagement programs and TCS’ own CSR efforts.  Abhinav, Dhaval and the Business with Purpose team connected the goIT team with Trey Keisler, CIO,Enterprise Systems and Supply Chain at GE Power. Understanding the value goIT could bring to both students and GE Power employees, Trey introduced the goIT team to leadership at Inspiredu, a nonprofit that supports the success of Greater Atlanta Area youth by providing access to needed technology and skills.

TCS’ goIT program has been a crucial part of building deeper relationships with our clients, as well as creating greater impact among our target groups,” said Abhinav. “As part of the Business with Purpose team, it’s been rewarding to be able to make those connections with clients and drive our common CSR goals.”

After hearing about TCS’ goIT digital innovation program, Inspiredu was interested in incorporating the program into their traditional summer camp experience as it fit perfectly into their organizational mission. A.  “Access to STEM opportunities is much needed in the Clarkston Community, said mber McCorkle, Program Director at Clarkston Community Center“Through TCS’ goIT’s Mobile App Design Program led by Inspiredu, our youth were able to not only pique their interest in STEM, but gain valuable knowledge that will remain with them for a lifetime.”

The Need

In Clarkston and the greater Atlanta area, the need for programs like goIT is very real. Inspiredu data shows that of the families they serve, over 73% of households have annual incomes of $35,000 or less and  64% of parents have no education credentials beyond a high school diploma. Approximately 98% of youth Inspiredu serves are underrepresented in computer science and they partner with Title I schools, where 75% to 100% of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. The Clarkston community is one of America's most diverse. Out of its 14,000 residents, there are 57 nationalities represented. Additionally, 43% of the residents are foreign-born and 52 different languages are spoken there.

The Program

During the month of June, three  facilitators helped 45 students delve into computer science by pushing them out of their comfort zone and getting them to think both critically and creatively about their community and how technology can help solve within it.  Through the program, TCS and GE associates played a significant role in  providing project feedback and  sharing their own career journeys.

All of the groups were impressive because they were tackling really difficult problems, but one group that stood out called themselves the “Carbonades”. This group of young ladies created an app called “Your Footprint” which helped people reduce their carbon footprint by taking a quiz that allows them to track their footprint. They worked very well together, so much so that when the summer camp had its talent show, two of the students from this group got up on stage and presented their app as their “talent”.

Reflection

Both school and corporate stakeholders reflect on the program as being an incredible success. Here’s what a few who participated in the program had to say:

“The goIT partnership enhanced our STEM Pipeline program curriculum and provided the support system, guides and training we needed for staff who may not have been as familiar with working students through the design thinking process” - Oneisha Freeman, Inspiredu Partnerships and Program Director.

“The goIT App Development Curriculum did a great job of capturing the attention of the students leading them through the steps of design thinking. At the beginning of the sessions, many of the students were unfamiliar with the words ‘empathy’, ‘prototype’ and ‘ideate’ and by the end they were using them frequently and knowledgeably. By the end of our two-week program the students put forward a group of very thoughtful and wildly creative app design!”  - Lauren Cervi, Inspiredu Program Coordinator

"It was great to see two organizations who focus on changing students' lives through STEM come together and complement each other, building opportunities for Atlanta students to learn and create technology solutions to tackle real-world problems." - Trey Keisler, CIO,  Enterprise Systems & Supply Chain at GE Power

“Thanks very much for driving this great initiative. Business for Purpose is making huge impact from company positioning and values perspective” - Rakesh Devpura, TCS Deputy GE Head

Looking forward

With summer behind us Inspiredu is already looking to incorporate goIT into its fall programming schedule. We’re excited to continue empowering the next generation of problem solvers and deepening our engagement across the Atlanta metro area.