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Jul 17th 2014

AOL Chief Technology Officer Teams Up With All Star Code

Today, AOL's CTO, Bill Pence spoke to a group of NYC youth participating in All Star Code's Summer Intensive Program. This year alone, AOL has partnered with All Star Code on a number of initiatives, including hosting an event in March for 40 students interested in tech, inviting over 60 students to AOL for career exploration visits, providing students with the opportunity to meet engineers and gain access to different career paths in the technology space.
After becoming involved with All Star Code on AOL's Monster Help Day, Bill Pence offered to speak to the students during the Summer Intensive Program. The program runs for 6-weeks for a group of 20 students who visit high profile tech companies – such as LinkedIn, AOL and Spotify – coupled with intensive computer science and interpersonal instruction.

Bill aimed to engage with the students about the importance of failure and resilience, as well as sharing personal details about what life is like in the tech, startup and VC worlds. Throughout the hour, our CTO spoke about his experiences and career path. Key takeaways from the session included:
  • Keeping interests broad, and never being afraid to ask questions to stimulate new ideas
  • Understanding the importance of coding, and how it relates to logic
  • Learning to approach a problem and dissect it, rather than focus on learning specific coding language
  • Maintaining a high-level of curiosity

We were inspired by the students' passion for learning and curiosity in the tech world – and are thrilled to see young students taking advantage of the amazing opportunities that All Star Code is offering.

We look forward to keeping in touch with the students and seeing how these future leaders grow! To learn more about the program and ways to get involved, visit http://www.allstarcode.org/.

Jun 17th 2014

Bob Lord Moderates Panel for Students Interested in Tech

As coding becomes an increasingly-important literacy, AOL is committed to helping students in our communities gain access to career exploration in the tech and engineering fields.

Last week, Bob Lord, CEO of AOL Platforms, moderated a panel discussion at the AOL NY office for a group of 35 8th-grade students from The Eagle Academy. As part of AOL's ongoing Building Blocks of Success program, our office strives to partner with local NYC schools and community organizations to give students the opportunity to learn about career opportunities in tech and engineering. To date, AOL has hosted 260 students in the NYC office in partnership with organizations like All Star Code, Girls Who Code, Citizen Schools, Mentoring USA, and Step Up Women's Network.

Our program included a behind the scenes tour of the AOL studio, a panel discussion moderated by Bob Lord, and an interactive tech activity to give the students the opportunity to work one-on-one with AOL engineers.

AOL engineers worked with small groups of students to help them understand the fundamental thought process that goes into writing code. The goal of the 'Be The Robot' activity is to help the students understand the concepts behind coding – with the hope of sparking their interest in and encouraging motivation to learn different coding languages.

Feb 13th 2014

AOL CSR Gets Creative & Employs Triple-Win Effort

Charitybuzz.com is an online auction house where users bid on experiences and luxuries whose proceeds benefit causes. This platform enables individuals and companies to donate items and allot their proceeds to particular organizations. Users then bid on the items or bid "to make a difference." The highest bidder wins the item and the proceeds benefit the designated cause.

In November, AOL supported one of its non-profit partners, She's the First by donating an experiential auction item: a tour of the New York office followed by a round-robin of employee conversations.
Last week, AOL hosted its item's winner. The winning bid of $750 enabled each 20-minute employee conversation to fund a $150 donation to She's the First! Conversations revolved around individuals' roles at AOL and how they contribute to the company as a whole. By tapping this innovative platform, AOL simultaneously supported an AOL consumer (the winner), employee volunteering and She's the First!

According to the winner, the event was a truly phenomenal opportunity to learn about the AOL brand. He commented, "This was incredible exposure! I didn't know how expansive AOL is. Holy cow!" An employee volunteer mentioned, "Our guest told me he's never seen a more creative and genuinely valuable charity event." Another employee described how he deeply appreciated the opportunity to volunteer. In terms of impacting She's the First, the auction item that AOL donated and AOL's guest purchased could fund a year's worth of school supplies and books for 34 Nepali girls.

This event was a win for all three parties and showcased AOL's ability to get creative about being in the business of helping people.

What's next? You'll just have to wait and see.

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