Tag Archives: Causes & Community

“A whole new world” of ideas at the Technovation Challenge

“Programming opens new horizons. It gives me full space to [create things] I couldn’t even imagine.” These are the words of Diana Zhanakbayeva, a young woman from Kazakhstan who, along with three classmates, just took home the top prize at an international coding challenge.

Great ideas can come from anywhere and from anyone. That’s what’s behind the 2017 Technovation Challenge,  run by nonprofit Iridescent, announced last fall in partnership with Google’s Made with Code and UN Women to offer young women from around the world the chance to code an app that solves a real-world challenge. More than 11,000 girls from 103 countries formed teams to address issues in those categories: peace, poverty, environment, equality, education, and health. This week, the finalists traveled to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View to pitch their ideas to a panel of tech leaders and other experts. And tonight, in front of 900+ supporters, educators, mentors and past participants, the four girls behind a safety app called QamCare were crowned the winner of the Senior Division.

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The 2017 Technovation Challenge Senior Division Finalists

To girls around the world who participated in the Challenge, or who are considering a career in computer science, or any field: we believe you should be encouraged and empowered to become the coders, entrepreneurs and inventors that shape the world around you. We will never stop working to create an industry and environment in which women feel welcome and can thrive.

Meet the girls behind QamCare, and the other finalist teams:

QamCare (Peace)

Aruzhan Koshkarova, Azhar Sultansikh, Dianna Zhanakbayeva, Diyara Beisenbekova

“QamCare” comes from the Kazakh word-Qamqor, which stands for care and support. The team behind this winning app describes it as a “potential life-saving tool,” which can be used in case of emergency to provide your location information to your contacts. With the press of a button, you can alert trusted friends and family via SMS. Azhar Sultansikh says the app is designed to give people “peace of mind.”

Sundar selfie
Google CEO Sundar Pichai takes a selfie with members of the winning team behind QamCare

QamCare’s creators describe a number of other hobbies and interests beyond CS: Diana Zhanakbayeva has dabbled in fashion and creating YouTube videos; Aruzhan Koshkarova says she used the cognitive skills learned from playing chess to work in programming; Azhar’s first loyalty is to art; and Diyara Beisenbekova is interested in medicine and chemistry. But all share a motivation to keep learning—and making a difference. Aruzhan says that the team was inspired to participate in the Challenge to “make change in [her] community” and for “women’s empowerment”—hoping to blaze the trail for more young Kazakh women to participate in science and tech.

One Step Ahead (Education)

Aghavni Hakobyan, Sona Avetisyan, Svetlana Davtyan, Violeta Mkrtchyan, Vardanush Nazaretyan

When a deaf classmate visited their school, this team of five girls from Karbi, Armenia, came up with the idea for an app to help people learn Armenian Sign Language using videos of sign gestures. The One Step Ahead team demonstrates how experiences like Technovation can inspire young people to pursue a wide variety of career paths. While Aghavni Hakobyan, 17, says that the program inspired her to want to become a programmer, her teammate Sona Avetisyan, 16,  wants to become a doctor to “help with hearing loss problems and help people communicate.”

PregCare (Health)

Aamanat Kang, Anoushka Bhalla, Mehak Joshi, Priyaja Bakshi, Vanshika Baijal

The PregCare team, in India, created an app that provides pregnant women, especially those in rural areas, with healthcare information, even offering alerts for appointments; it also connects women with donors and other organizations. Aamanat Kang says of the challenge, “The interesting part of technology is its ability to change and evolve in the blink of an eye. What keeps me hooked on to computers is that we do not know what to expect in the world of technology tomorrow or 10 years from now.“

Go WaCo (Environment)

Aida Khamiyeva Ardakkyzy, Arlana Yessenbayeva, Askar Zhibek Askarkyzy, Diana Zhanakbayeva

In Almaty, Kazakhstan, a city of more than 1.5 million people, only 2 percent of waste is recycled, with the remaining 98 percent going to landfills. The four girls behind Go WaCo (short for “Go, Waste Conscious”) wanted to come up with a way to encourage people to recycle, so they created an app that challenges students from different schools to participate in recycling competitions and compete for rewards. Arlana Yessenbayeva, 16, says of the project: “Go WaCo is my first big step in changing this world for the better. In the future I want to connect people, inspire them to invent, share, and solve the world's problems.”

iCut (Equality)

Ivy Akinyi, Macrine Akinyi, Purity Achieng, Stacy Dina Owino, Cynthia Awuor

Female genital mutilation (FGM) has been banned in Kenya since 2011, but in many areas of the country it continues to be practiced. The iCut app is designed to provide a platform for people to report cases of FGM, as well as for victims to seek help. Several of the girls behind iCut described how coding helped them discover new kinds of potential: Stacy Dina, 17, says “When my mentor ... introduced programming to us, I was elated. [I] felt empowered.“ Synthia Awuor, 17, adds: “Joining [Technovation] opened my eyes to a whole new world.”  

Wishcraft (Poverty)

Jigisha Kamal, Krithika Sunil, Rida Shafeek

Our second team from India designed an Android app that lets donors fulfill “wishes” for underserved children. Nonprofits or charitable trusts who work on children’s issues can upload three wishes for each child, which donors can select from to provide the amount quoted for each gift. The idea is to “bring a little joy into [children’s] everyday lives through donations in the form of gifts,” as Jigisha Kamal puts it. Rida Shafeek, 17, says of their app, “It was a chance to make a change… to provide opportunities to underprivileged kids to embrace every bit of their childhood and to provide a door to a better future.”

The projects we saw this week demonstrate that code is a potent tool to create change—and show that there is a generation of young people eager to wield it. We’re inspired by the energy and enthusiasm we saw at the Technovation Challenge—and excited to continue to help more future leaders make a difference through technology.

Source: Education


Confronting racial injustice 100 years after the Silent Parade

It was a mid-summer day in New York City. Nearly 10,000 African Americans—men, women and children—gathered on Fifth Avenue. The women wore white; the men dark suits. They were there to protest. Yet there were no songs or chants. They marched in silence, demanding an end to racial violence in America.

The date was July 28, 1917.

Organized by the NAACP, including leaders W.E.B Du Bois and James Weldon Johnson, the Silent Parade was one of the first mass protests against lynching and anti-black violence in America. Protestors demanded that President Woodrow Wilson take legislative action to protect African Americans, as thousands had been lynched since the end of the Civil War. Despite the silence of the parade’s participants, their signs spoke volumes. “Treat us so that we may love our country,” one sign read—a message that continues to resonate.

Today’s Doodle honors the 100th anniversary of the protest; a moment in American history that was critical in shaping both the impending civil rights movement and the world we live in today.
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A hundred years later, the fight for racial justice in the United States continues, especially in the criminal justice system. More than 60 percent of people in prison are people of color, and stories like Philando Castile’s continue to reveal the devastating consequences of racial bias. Google.org grantee the Equal Justice Initiative and Executive Director Bryan Stevenson are working to challenge these inequalities both in and outside of the courtroom. In their recent collaboration with Google, EJI created an interactive site, bringing together EJI’s in-depth research on the history of lynching with the stories behind it. Lynching in America is intended to inspire a conversation about our past and the work required to build a better future.

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The Myles/Dedman family visiting Shreveport, LA, where in 1912 their relative Thomas Miles, Sr., was lynched. This is one of many photos included in the Legacy of Lynching exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.

The Equal Justice Initiative has also collaborated with Google on an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum that further explores the impact of this history. The Legacy of Lynching (open now until September 3), presents EJI’s research—through film, oral histories and interactive maps—and aligns it with the work of notable artists such as Sanford Biggers and Kara Walker.

“There are times it's not really possible to confront the obstacles that many of us have to confront without a soundtrack or without an image,” Bryan Stevenson said at the exhibit’s opening this week. “The kind of inspiration that these artists bring, gives us the courage to do the exhausting things that have to be done to create justice. That's what I'm hoping we'll feel—a little bit of inspiration—to go tell these stories.To begin talking about this history. And to have the courage to do it, even when it's uncomfortable and unpleasant.”

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Bryan Stevenson in conversation with artists Sanford Biggers, Glenn Ligon and poet Elizabeth Alexander at the opening of the exhibit.

The Equal Justice Initiative believes that addressing this history of racial injustice is essential to better understanding our present. They are one of many racial justice organizations that we’re proud to support with Google.org grants, alongside partnerships with National Urban League, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights. Together we hope to build a more just and inclusive world for everyone.

The Dynamic Learning Project: helping deliver on the promise of tech in the classroom

When it comes to schools, bridging the “digital divide” means more than providing access. While that gap isn’t yet closed, there’s another emerging equity imbalance that goes beyond computers or connectivity. This “second-level digital divide” is fueled by major differences in how effectively that technology is being used for teaching and learning. And it’s especially pronounced in low-income schools, where teachers face a significant disadvantage when it comes to training and professional development. Closing this divide means equipping educators with the skills and tools they need to effectively integrate technology in their classrooms. That’s why we’re launching the Dynamic Learning Project, a new pilot that’s part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that the benefits of technology are truly reaching every classroom.

Research suggests that coaching has a positive impact on teacher practices and student outcomes. So to start, we’re providing a $6.5 million grant to Digital Promise through Google.org in order to launch a pilot that will support full-time coaches at 50 underserved middle schools in five diverse regions across the U.S. These coaches will provide personalized support to help educators learn about technology and use it in their classroom in transformative ways. To set schools up for success, each will receive mentoring support and ongoing professional development from experts at EdTech Team. They’ll also participate in a community of practice with other participating schools, allowing them to share their learnings and expand their professional networks.

Digital Promise selected this first cohort of 50 U.S. middle schools based on need (determined by percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch), existing infrastructure (without requiring any specific type or brand of technology), and innovative leadership committed to helping their teachers succeed. They’ll work with these schools throughout the year, helping the coaches and principals to better harness technology in the classroom.

For years, we’ve worked hard to help more classrooms access technology, and we’re proud that our products are helping millions of teachers and students do incredible things. But we’ve also seen that access to technology on its own is not enough. Making our products free or affordable doesn’t make usage truly equitable, and quality training is critical to ensure that technology is used in effective and meaningful ways. Through coaching, training and support, we’re aiming to empower teachers to further improve student learning outcomes through technology.

While technology alone will not fix or improve education, in the hands of educators who know how to use it, it can be a powerful part of the solution. This pilot is only the very beginning of our work ahead, and we’re eager to see what we will learn and understand how we can help reach even more classrooms in the future.

Source: Education


Helping to fight the hunger crisis in Africa and Yemen

In South Sudan, Somalia, northeastern Nigeria and Yemen this spring, families hopefully watched the horizon for rain clouds. The rain never arrived—and after two years of severe drought, food and water continue to be desperately scarce. Twenty million people across the region are facing starvation due to a drought, as well as prolonged conflicts. The United Nations has called it the largest humanitarian crisis since its founding in 1945, and has called on the international community to act quickly.

Google.org and Googlers have donated more than $1 million to support critical services like screening children for malnutrition, running feeding programs and treating malnourished children in specialized health centers, as well as providing clean water, food, and shelter. And soon, Google volunteers will work hand in hand with Save the Children to support the development of a Hunger Assessment Portal, an interactive tool that will help on-the-ground decision-makers, policymakers and donors use data to make better decisions about where and how to deploy their resources.

This week, we’re helping to raise awareness for a first-of-its-kind coalition of major U.S.-based international nonprofit organizations that have joined together to help respond to the urgent hunger crisis. This Global Emergency Response Coalition will use donations to a new Hunger Relief Fund to bring much-needed food and supplies to those affected, and lay the groundwork for recovery. The coalition includes CARE, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Plan International, Save the Children and World Vision. Together, these organizations are working in more than 100 countries to reach millions of the world’s most vulnerable people with urgent assistance such as food, water, shelter, education and medical care, as well as resources to build resilience to future food crises. We’ll be linking to their site from the Google.com homepage, and providing advertising credits to raise awareness about their efforts.

This campaign runs through July 27, and we hope you’ll join us in providing support for the coalition at www.globalemergencyresponse.org.

Global hunger crisis - you can help

Celebrating businesses giving back this Ramadan

In the heart of Istanbul, where I was born and raised, is the Hagia Sophia, a breathtakingly beautiful monument with a storied history. Over the centuries it has been a cathedral, a mosque, and a museum. When you stand inside, you see Arabic calligraphy alongside Christian relics. From afar you see its minarets surrounding a Byzantine church. While each visitor identifies in her own way with the Hagia Sophia, it gives everyone a sense of wonder.   

For me, the month of Ramadan is similar. It’s a month when Muslims take time to reflect on their own paths of personal and spiritual growth. While this experience is unique to each individual, the act of giving back to one’s community is shared by Muslims the world over. In Turkey there is an expression: “We are created equally, but our lots in life are given differently.” During Ramadan, Muslims from all walks of life help those in their own communities who are less fortunate.

In this spirit, I want to share the story of Russell Khan, the co-founder of Honest Chops, an organic butcher shop in New York. Honest Chops, like countless other Muslim-owned businesses this Ramadan, is giving back to its community by donating 10,000 pounds of meat to local nonprofits. Particularly heartwarming for me is that Google’s free online business listing—which allowed Honest Chops to be found on Search and Maps—helped Russell grow his business and his impact.

I’m proud that Google played a role in helping Russell grow his business. Digital skills—social media, building a website or putting a business on the map—empower people to bring their ideas to life in and for their communities. That’s why Google provides digital skills training in countries around the world. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where I work, we’ve trained 5 million people in digital skills since 2014, and 40 percent of those participants are women. Think of how many people could benefit from a Russell in their community. You can learn more about getting your business online at g.co/GetYourBusinessOnline.

As the month of Ramadan comes to an end, I encourage us all to reflect on the meaning of community. The values of this holiday transcend all religions and cultures, and I hope they inspire you as much as they inspire me—and Russell.

Ramazan'ınız mübarek olsun. Happy Ramadan!

Celebrating businesses giving back this Ramadan

In the heart of Istanbul, where I was born and raised, is the Hagia Sophia, a breathtakingly beautiful monument with a storied history. Over the centuries it has been a cathedral, a mosque, and a museum. When you stand inside, you see Arabic calligraphy alongside Christian relics. From afar you see its minarets surrounding a Byzantine church. While each visitor identifies in her own way with the Hagia Sophia, it gives everyone a sense of wonder.   

For me, the month of Ramadan is similar. It’s a month when Muslims take time to reflect on their own paths of personal and spiritual growth. While this experience is unique to each individual, the act of giving back to one’s community is shared by Muslims the world over. In Turkey there is an expression: “We are created equally, but our lots in life are given differently.” During Ramadan, Muslims from all walks of life help those in their own communities who are less fortunate.

In this spirit, I want to share the story of Russell Khan, the co-founder of Honest Chops, an organic butcher shop in New York. Honest Chops, like countless other Muslim-owned businesses this Ramadan, is giving back to its community by donating 10,000 pounds of meat to local nonprofits. Particularly heartwarming for me is that Google’s free online business listing—which allowed Honest Chops to be found on Search and Maps—helped Russell grow his business and his impact.

I’m proud that Google played a role in helping Russell grow his business. Digital skills—social media, building a website or putting a business on the map—empower people to bring their ideas to life in and for their communities. That’s why Google provides digital skills training in countries around the world. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where I work, we’ve trained 5 million people in digital skills since 2014, and 40 percent of those participants are women. Think of how many people could benefit from a Russell in their community. You can learn more about getting your business online at g.co/GetYourBusinessOnline.

As the month of Ramadan comes to an end, I encourage us all to reflect on the meaning of community. The values of this holiday transcend all religions and cultures, and I hope they inspire you as much as they inspire me—and Russell.

Ramazan'ınız mübarek olsun. Happy Ramadan!

Celebrating 10 years of GoogleServe

Every June, we celebrate GoogleServe—a month-long campaign to empower Googlers to volunteer in their communities. Googlers have clocked more than 200,000 hours during GoogleServe since it first began in 2007, and the program has inspired a culture of giving and volunteering all year long. As we celebrate our 10th annual GoogleServe, we’re talking with Seth Marbin, the Googler who first came up with the idea.

Keyword: How did the idea for GoogleServe come about?

Seth: I joined the Search Quality team at Google 11 years ago. I was inspired by the company’s culture, social mission, and the belief that any employee could dream up the next big idea. In 2007, our VP of Culture Stacy Sullivan asked Googlers for ideas on how to maintain our unique culture while the company doubled in size. My work with AmeriCorps and City Year taught me that volunteering can bring people together and break down social barriers, so I proposed a global day of community service (which I called Google-palooza!). Googlers jumped on board immediately, and 3,000 Googlers from 45 offices participated in our first GoogleServe.

How has GoogleServe changed over the years?

Well, for starters, it’s a lot bigger! And it’s inspired Googlers to serve beyond the month of June. Googlers now volunteer a quarter of a million hours each year outside GoogleServe, through Google.org programs.

We still provide hands-on help to schools, soup kitchens and homeless shelters, but we’ve evolved GoogleServe to connect Googlers’ professional expertise to nonprofit and community needs. For example, software engineers participate in hackathons, and our recruitment and staffing teams review resumes and conduct interview skills trainings for people who are unemployed or underemployed.

There are 20,000 Googlers volunteering this month. How do you pull off such a massive undertaking?

We work with great partners who ensure that our volunteers have meaningful experiences. For example, HandsOn Bay Area—which helps Googlers find volunteer opportunities—has been a fantastic and committed partner from the beginning. When we came to them in 2012 with 5,500 Google volunteers, we maxed out their capacity to help. They didn’t have the infrastructure to deal with a group of our size, but over time they adjusted and scaled their model so that they could continue working with us. It’s been such a pleasure to watch their evolution, because we wouldn’t be able to run GoogleServe without them. Our partnership was even written about as a case study for Harvard Business School.

What have been your favorite projects over the years?

My favorite projects tap into Googler expertise, align with our company values—like supporting women in tech—and have a lasting impact. U.S. Googlers have volunteered with schools and nonprofits to host Made with Code events, inspiring thousands of girls to consider careers in computer science. In two days of coding, 10 Googlers helped the OpenAustralia Foundation give two million people access to Planning Alerts, which notify residents about local construction and demolition projects. And a team of Googlers in our Seattle office helped launch a mobile app to enable RealChange homeless newspaper vendors to accept digital payments.

How has GoogleServe impacted Googlers?

I’ve found that many Googlers start out with one GoogleServe project and then discover a deeper passion for serving the community. Rebecca Howarth, who helps lead GoogleServe in the Bay Area, told me it’s the single most important part of her career at Google—and it’s not even her “real job.”

For some Googlers, the impact has been so great that they’ve committed their careers to community service. In 2012 Megan Wheeler joined our team as a 20 percenter (Googlers can dedicate 20 percent of their time, outside of their day job, on projects that they’re passionate about), and now she runs the program globally as part of her full time role on the Google.org team.

And it inspires others to continue to serve beyond Google. Former Googler Tory Faries participated in a GoogleServe project in 2010, helping to paint a youth homeless shelter in San Francisco. She was so inspired that she became a weekly volunteer at the shelter. Years later, she has helped to build and lead the global volunteer program at Airbnb.

How has GoogleServe influenced Google’s culture?

When Stacy sent out her email 10 years ago, I believed that a commitment to community service would keep our culture strong no matter how big the company became, and I still believe that today. GoogleServe connects Googlers to causes and community organizations they care about, but it also connects them to other Googlers they wouldn’t have met otherwise. Those bonds are the reason people continue to volunteer with us, and why GoogleServe has become such a big part of our company culture.

Why have you dedicated your career to service?

Community service has always been a part of my life. My wife and I met doing community service and we even incorporated it into our wedding! Before the ceremony, our guests planted seeds on an organic farm that grows food for low-income families. And my kids are a part of GoogleServe too—my daughter Kaia was born just before the first GoogleServe and she and my younger son Jahan have attended a GoogleServe project every year.

So while I’ve always had a passion for service, being a part of the GoogleServe founding team and Google.org honed my life’s mission: to serve and help others serve, to build a better, more compassionate, inclusive, peaceful and just world. I feel incredibly fortunate to work on this every day at Google with an amazing team of passionate colleagues.

What’s your advice for people outside of Google who are interested in starting a volunteering program at their company?

Launch and iterate. Don’t wait for all the details—just get your idea out there and invite others to join in. Volunteering is good for company culture, good for our communities, and good for the world. There’s a growing movement of social intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs working to create positive social change, and there are many case studies and guides that can help anyone create change in their local community.

Celebrating 10 years of GoogleServe

Every June, we celebrate GoogleServe—a month-long campaign to empower Googlers to volunteer in their communities. Googlers have clocked more than 200,000 hours during GoogleServe since it first began in 2007, and the program has inspired a culture of giving and volunteering all year long. As we celebrate our 10th annual GoogleServe, we’re talking with Seth Marbin, the Googler who first came up with the idea.

Keyword: How did the idea for GoogleServe come about?

Seth: I joined the Search Quality team at Google 11 years ago. I was inspired by the company’s culture, social mission, and the belief that any employee could dream up the next big idea. In 2007, our VP of Culture Stacy Sullivan asked Googlers for ideas on how to maintain our unique culture while the company doubled in size. My work with AmeriCorps and City Year taught me that volunteering can bring people together and break down social barriers, so I proposed a global day of community service (which I called Google-palooza!). Googlers jumped on board immediately, and 3,000 Googlers from 45 offices participated in our first GoogleServe.

How has GoogleServe changed over the years?

Well, for starters, it’s a lot bigger! And it’s inspired Googlers to serve beyond the month of June. Googlers now volunteer a quarter of a million hours each year outside GoogleServe, through Google.org programs.

We still provide hands-on help to schools, soup kitchens and homeless shelters, but we’ve evolved GoogleServe to connect Googlers’ professional expertise to nonprofit and community needs. For example, software engineers participate in hackathons, and our recruitment and staffing teams review resumes and conduct interview skills trainings for people who are unemployed or underemployed.

There are 20,000 Googlers volunteering this month. How do you pull off such a massive undertaking?

We work with great partners who ensure that our volunteers have meaningful experiences. For example, HandsOn Bay Area—which helps Googlers find volunteer opportunities—has been a fantastic and committed partner from the beginning. When we came to them in 2012 with 5,500 Google volunteers, we maxed out their capacity to help. They didn’t have the infrastructure to deal with a group of our size, but over time they adjusted and scaled their model so that they could continue working with us. It’s been such a pleasure to watch their evolution, because we wouldn’t be able to run GoogleServe without them. Our partnership was even written about as a case study for Harvard Business School.

What have been your favorite projects over the years?

My favorite projects tap into Googler expertise, align with our company values—like supporting women in tech—and have a lasting impact. U.S. Googlers have volunteered with schools and nonprofits to host Made with Code events, inspiring thousands of girls to consider careers in computer science. In two days of coding, 10 Googlers helped the OpenAustralia Foundation give two million people access to Planning Alerts, which notify residents about local construction and demolition projects. And a team of Googlers in our Seattle office helped launch a mobile app to enable RealChange homeless newspaper vendors to accept digital payments.

How has GoogleServe impacted Googlers?

I’ve found that many Googlers start out with one GoogleServe project and then discover a deeper passion for serving the community. Rebecca Howarth, who helps lead GoogleServe in the Bay Area, told me it’s the single most important part of her career at Google—and it’s not even her “real job.”

For some Googlers, the impact has been so great that they’ve committed their careers to community service. In 2012 Megan Wheeler joined our team as a 20 percenter (Googlers can dedicate 20 percent of their time, outside of their day job, on projects that they’re passionate about), and now she runs the program globally as part of her full time role on the Google.org team.

And it inspires others to continue to serve beyond Google. Former Googler Tory Faries participated in a GoogleServe project in 2010, helping to paint a youth homeless shelter in San Francisco. She was so inspired that she became a weekly volunteer at the shelter. Years later, she has helped to build and lead the global volunteer program at Airbnb.

How has GoogleServe influenced Google’s culture?

When Stacy sent out her email 10 years ago, I believed that a commitment to community service would keep our culture strong no matter how big the company became, and I still believe that today. GoogleServe connects Googlers to causes and community organizations they care about, but it also connects them to other Googlers they wouldn’t have met otherwise. Those bonds are the reason people continue to volunteer with us, and why GoogleServe has become such a big part of our company culture.

Why have you dedicated your career to service?

Community service has always been a part of my life. My wife and I met doing community service and we even incorporated it into our wedding! Before the ceremony, our guests planted seeds on an organic farm that grows food for low-income families. And my kids are a part of GoogleServe too—my daughter Kaia was born just before the first GoogleServe and she and my younger son Jahan have attended a GoogleServe project every year.

So while I’ve always had a passion for service, being a part of the GoogleServe founding team and Google.org honed my life’s mission: to serve and help others serve, to build a better, more compassionate, inclusive, peaceful and just world. I feel incredibly fortunate to work on this every day at Google with an amazing team of passionate colleagues.

What’s your advice for people outside of Google who are interested in starting a volunteering program at their company?

Launch and iterate. Don’t wait for all the details—just get your idea out there and invite others to join in. Volunteering is good for company culture, good for our communities, and good for the world. There’s a growing movement of social intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs working to create positive social change, and there are many case studies and guides that can help anyone create change in their local community.

Google Play and Made With Code team up to inspire teen girls with Wonder Woman

Nearly 75 years after first appearing in All Star Comics #8, Wonder Woman continues to be a symbol of female empowerment, breaking through stereotypes pervasive in comic books, gaming and pop culture.    

Wonder Woman

Now, Wonder Woman’s Super Hero story is coming to the big screen in her first-ever movie, which opens in theaters tomorrow. Throughout the film, we see Princess Diana's strength through her leadership, perseverance, courage and camaraderie.

Wonder Woman is also one of the strongest characters on the small screen in the game DC Legends, which just released an update tied to the movie on Google Play. The update brings exclusive movie content, two major new game modes and special in-game events inspired by the film. Only a small percentage of video game characters are female, but in the DC Legends game, girls can select Wonder Woman and channel her strength while they play.

Wonder Woman’s strength is more relevant today than ever, especially in the technology space, since girls are less likely than boys to be encouraged to pursue computer science and only 22 percent of gaming developers are women. Made with Code, Google’s initiative to champion the next generation of female leaders and inspire them to see coding as a way to pursue their dreams, is releasing a new interactive coding project for wonder women everywhere to add coding to their superpower toolkit. With the project, teen girls can code three unique scenes from the film, using introductory coding principles to help Wonder Woman navigate obstacles and reach her goal.

Made with Code Wonder Woman Google Play

As part of this collaboration, Google Play and Made with Code are teaming up with Warner Bros to bring together more than 100 teen girls from Los Angeles to advance screen the Wonder Woman movie, play the updated DC Legends game and complete the coding project. We hope Wonder Woman’s message of empowerment inspires teen girls, and women, to build confidence in pursuing careers in computer science, engineering, gaming—or whatever their dreams may be.

Google Play and Made With Code team up to inspire teen girls with Wonder Woman

Nearly 75 years after first appearing in All Star Comics #8, Wonder Woman continues to be a symbol of female empowerment, breaking through stereotypes pervasive in comic books, gaming and pop culture.    

Wonder Woman

Now, Wonder Woman’s Super Hero story is coming to the big screen in her first-ever movie, which opens in theaters tomorrow. Throughout the film, we see Princess Diana's strength through her leadership, perseverance, courage and camaraderie.

Wonder Woman is also one of the strongest characters on the small screen in the game DC Legends, which just released an update tied to the movie on Google Play. The update brings exclusive movie content, two major new game modes and special in-game events inspired by the film. Only a small percentage of video game characters are female, but in the DC Legends game, girls can select Wonder Woman and channel her strength while they play.

Wonder Woman’s strength is more relevant today than ever, especially in the technology space, since girls are less likely than boys to be encouraged to pursue computer science and only 22 percent of gaming developers are women. Made with Code, Google’s initiative to champion the next generation of female leaders and inspire them to see coding as a way to pursue their dreams, is releasing a new interactive coding project for wonder women everywhere to add coding to their superpower toolkit. With the project, teen girls can code three unique scenes from the film, using introductory coding principles to help Wonder Woman navigate obstacles and reach her goal.

Made with Code Wonder Woman project

As part of this collaboration, Google Play and Made with Code are teaming up with Warner Bros to bring together more than 100 teen girls from Los Angeles to advance screen the Wonder Woman movie, play the updated DC Legends game and complete the coding project. We hope Wonder Woman’s message of empowerment inspires teen girls, and women, to build confidence in pursuing careers in computer science, engineering, gaming—or whatever their dreams may be.