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Marking Three Remarkable Years of Association with St.Stephen's Community House and Nisource
 

Earlier this month, we logged another fantastic goIT App Design Challenge event in the books! For the third consecutive year, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and NiSource came together to support our flagship STEM digital innovation education program, goIT. The program focuses on elevating students and educators from St. Stephen's Community House, a non-profit organization that helps Central Ohio residents strengthen families and empower the community.

 Launched in 2009, TCS’ goIT works with industry expert volunteers, non-profit organizations, and schools to bring design thinking and computer science concepts to students. Students use these concepts to identify real-world problems and create meaningful, technological solutions. Over the course of 6 weeks, more than 40 students at St. Stephen’s Community House learned how to leverage technology to actively improve their communities, aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. By thinking globally and acting locally, students identified problems in their community and harnessed technology to solve them. 

Throughout the program, students at St. Stephen’s Community House collaborated with TCS and NiSource volunteers who served as mentors to provide real-world connections and introduce students to industry experts. For the first time in program history, TCS brought an engaging and thought-provoking panel that featured NiSource and TCSers who were early in their career. Mentors also supported student work and provided meaningful feedback on student prototypes and pitches through their goIT journey.

The program closed with a culminating celebration where teams presented their app concepts to a supportive group of participants, including NiSource executives. Columbus native and Executive VP & CFO of Columbia Gas's parent company, NiSource, Donald Brown spoke to students at the culmination, offering words of encouragement about being open to trying new things as well as reflections on his own professional career journey.

"At NiSource and Columbia Gas of Ohio, we’re passionate about strengthening and building sustainable communities for our customers,” said Brown. “St. Stephen's Community House is a foundation in the Linden neighborhood supporting generations of young people and their families. I’m delighted we can partner with St. Stephen’s and TCS to provide innovative, real-world skills to the students that will help develop them to be future business and community leaders."

The judging panel included NiSource CIO Mike Rozsa, NiSource Vice Presidents Greg Skinner and Kevin Johannsen. From TCS, Utilities Sub- ISU Head  Sabyasachi Chandra, Head, Marketing & Communications, Utilities Industry Solution Unit Anumita Bhattacharjee, and Priya Chandrasekaran, Business Relationship Manager, were all present.

The judges selected “7.6.7” by E’laya, K’Nyse as the winning app. The app, named for the “SOS” keys on your phone, serves as a distress signal to help prevent human trafficking, by alerting authorities if somebody feels unsafe or appears to be a victim of human trafficking.

NiSource and TCS are looking forward to empowering more problem-solvers and change agents of tomorrow next program!