June 17, 2019

Salesforce.org Invests $1 Million in the Future of Chicago

By Ebony Frelix Beckwith, EVP and Chief Philanthropy Officer, Salesforce

Chicago Public School students using a 3-D printer

 

Over the last year, Salesforce has greatly expanded our presence in Chicago – from our investment in Chicago Public Schools, to our newly announced Salesforce Tower, and a commitment to add 1,000 new jobs over the next five years.

We are so excited to share that we’re doubling down on our commitment and investing an additional $1 million in education and workforce development to further our Future Ready programs, with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and i.c.stars.

Our Second Year of Partnership with Chicago Public Schools

Last year, Salesforce.org partnered with CPS to invest in young people to ensure they are future-ready, prepared for the opportunities of today and tomorrow. In the 2018-19 school year, Salesforce.org worked closely with Solorio High School to help build a new Early College STEM School pathway, provide specialized IT training, and increase exposure to postsecondary education and tech careers.

Because of Salesforce’s support, Solorio High School now has a whole-school 1:1 computer ratio, new STEM spaces including three laser cutters and a vinyl printer, and a Makerspace with 33 new laptops, a 3D printer and scanner, heat press and more. Salesforce is proud to partner with Solorio High School to help expand opportunities to prepare students for postsecondary success. This year, more than 100 Solorio juniors and seniors have taken college-level courses while in high school, a practice that has been shown to improve on-time college completion rates.

Salesforce.org is investing in CPS this year to enhance executive leadership development through The Cahn Fellows Program and Chicago Principals Fellowship. Additionally, the grant will provide continued support for the Early College STEM School pathway program at Solorio High School, helping traditionally underserved students to be successful in college and beyond.

Expanding Workforce Development Programs in Chicago

i.c.stars, a workforce development organization, aims to create a more diverse and equitable workforce by delivering in demand technical training, expanding their students’ social capital through building professional networks, and building essential career skills through leadership development training. i.c. stars training provides an immersive four month project-based learning experience where students develop professional and technical skills in partnership with private sector employers.

Over the past year, Salesforce employees have supported i.c.stars through volunteering and mentorship. Employees from Salesforce’s Chicago Boldforce Ohana Group hold weekly office hours with i.c.stars fellows to provide mentorship and lead workshops on topics such as storytelling, user stories, and learning Salesforce skills via Trailhead.

Because of Salesforce support, i.c. stars launched their first Cyber Security cohort with project partner JP Morgan Chase and participants developed a financial literacy game for youth with project partner CIBC. With the new grant, Salesforce.org will support i.c.stars’ growth and enhance their program offerings to provide the greatest impact to Chicago area young adults who lack access to opportunity.

 

 

Salesforce volunteers leading a workshop

 

Commitment to the Community

Salesforce is committed to giving back to the communities in which employees live and work. In Chicago, employees have volunteered over 126,000 hours with organizations including Habitat for Humanity Chicago, Cradles to Crayons, Greater Chicago Food Depository and A Safe Haven. Salesforce.org has donated $1.5 million to other organizations serving youth in Chicago including Year Up, Bottom Line, OneGoal, Chicago Community Foundation, Braven, and Genesys Works in addition to CPS and i.c.stars.

Giving Back at Connections

At Salesforce Connections 2019, conference attendees will help to build 400 Future Ready kits containing essential school supplies needed for local students. All of these kits will be distributed to local students in need by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago. Representatives from Big Brothers Big Sisters will also be on site to promote their mentorship program to attendees interested in getting involved with their organization.

 

 

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