Sara Bennett's posts

Sep 18th 2015

AOL Charitable Foundation Supports Computer Science For All

Everyday we hear about the education gap and how many students in New York City and around the globe haven't had the opportunity to develop the skills they need for success. This is especially true for students from low-income families.

This is why we're thrilled to announce AOL Charitable Foundation's commitment to support a monumental initiative called Computer Science For All in partnership with Robin Hood Foundation, NYC Department of Education and the New York City Foundation for Computer Science Education (CSNYC) founded by Fred Wilson.

We hope that this initiative has massive potential to be replicated and implemented in school systems around the globe.

Wednesday, September 16, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled an exciting plan to bridge the education and technology divide for every single NYC public school student. As a Foundation, we're laser focused on empowering future leaders by providing them with the skills to reach their full potential. These include skills like problem solving, teamwork, creativity, critical thinking and of course computer science.

CS For All will provide 1.1 million NYC public school students, K-12 with access to Computer Science education.

"Historically, New York City and the rest of the United States have seen the cultural, economic and social benefits from investing in next-generation technologies and education. The contributions AOL Charitable Foundation and other partners have made alongside the Mayor's office will allow children of all backgrounds to share equally in the future of a software-driven economy and continue to bolster New York's position as one of the leading technology cities in the world," said Tim Armstrong, CEO and Chairman of AOL.

"We are thrilled to partner with CSNYC, Robin Hood Foundation, and the Fund for Public Schools on this groundbreaking initiative to bring computer science education to every New York City public school student," said Sara Link, President of AOL Charitable Foundation. "It is our aim, along with these partners, to prepare our future leaders with the skills they need to address 21st century challenges."

Click here to read the New York Times article.

Follow us on @AOLCSR to see other ways in which Citizen AOL is impacting communities around the world.

Jun 26th 2014

Monster Help Day: The Video

Monster Help Day is AOL's annual service day in which employees across the globe volunteer together to make a difference in local communities. From cleaning up the beach in Santa Monica to gardening at Concrete Safaris, this year's effort was an amazing day for all involved.

Equipped with bold volunteer shirts, bountiful energy and a ubiquitous giving-spirit, over 3,000 AOLers - spanning from Beverly Hills to Bangalore - volunteered to support charities around the world.

Take a look at this awesome video of AOLers giving back across the globe – 3k volunteers, 24 AOL offices, 63 charities across the globe!

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.

May 2nd 2014

AOL Partners with Girls Who Code and Futures & Options

At AOL, we care about building communities, which is why we rolled out our Building Blocks of Success Program. Three times a quarter, we invite students from schools with low-funding to our New York office for an insightful career exploration panel & tour-- aiming to expose students to myriad career opportunities.

During the month of April, AOL partnered with Girls Who Code and Futures & Options to invite nearly 60 high school students to the NYC office for the Building Blocks of Success program. On April 23rd, we had the pleasure of meeting Reshma Saujani, Founder of Girls Who Code (who also happens to be an AOL MAKER!) After the panel discussion, Reshma spent some time talking with the girls, asking them questions about their plans for the future and where they hope to go to college.
On April 30th, a group of students from Futures & Options -- a non–profit organization that empowers New York City's underserved youth -- visited AOL as part of their 12 week program for a Career Exploration visit. The 9th, 10th, and 11th graders were excited to see our offices and were particularly amazed by the colorful walls and vibrant energy. Panelists ranged from Otto Toth, VP Mobile Technology at The Huffington Post to Jessi Dexheimer, Account Executive at Marketplace by ADTECH, to Piya Ghosh, Software Engineer at The Huffington Post Media Group.

A special thanks to all the panelists for talking the time to share their insights with the students and participate in the discussion to inspire students in the area of career development!

Otto Toth: VP -Engineering, Head of Mobile
Andrew Schwimmer: Android Mobile Development
Katie Bloom: Director, Category Marketing – CPG, Financial Services | All brands
Piya Ghosh: Software Engineer, Huffington Post Media Group
Emily Burleigh- Strategic Account Manager, AOL platforms
Jessi Dexheimer- Account Executive | Marketplace by ADTECH
Samantha Huncharek- Associate Strategic Account Manager, Sales

Feb 27th 2014

AOLers Share Career Advice in "Pathways to Success" Series

Equipped with notebooks, questions, and abundant enthusiasm, students from the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology headed to AOL HQ yesterday for "Pathways to Success." Held in New York, the event brings tech-interested students together for career advice and exposure.

The invited students attend one of 20 New York City public schools selected for a new program, the Software Engineering Pilot (SEP) - which provides funding to offer a comprehensive curriculum of computer science and software engineering for both girls and boys.

Panelists shared stories and advice, with the goal of exposing students to the myriad pathways available in the tech field. As the speakers wrapped up, a key-takeaway arose: "Keep in touch with the classmates you're with today, as those connections will be helpful in the future - you never know who you'll be connected with later on in life."

"Pathways to Success" is an ongoing AOL program through which we invite students interested in technology to the AOL office for a career panel and tour of the Studio. Stay tuned for future updates and events news by following @AOLImpact.

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