Author Archives: Jacquelline Fuller

The nonprofit leaders to watch in 2022

For as long as Google.org has been around, we’ve supported big ideas to change the world by funding organizations led by dynamic individuals. We backed Sal Khan’s Khan Academy when he was creating it from his walk-in closet in 2010; today more than 70 million people have used the service to help improve their academic outcomes. Or GiveDirectly co-founders Michael Faye and Paul Niehaus, who’ve grown their initial idea for direct cash assistance from a private giving circle to one of the fastest-growing nonprofits of the decade.

So, we asked ourselves: Who are the nonprofit leaders of today who will help create a better tomorrow? The answer: These seven individuals from around the world who are driving real-world change in their communities and finding unexpected solutions to complex challenges across equity, education, health and sustainability. Take a look at Google.org’s Leaders to Watch for 2022.

We know firsthand the great work that these leaders do at their organizations; collectively their nonprofits have received millions in funding from Google.org over the past few years. Now we’re going beyond funding the organizations, to focus on supporting the development of individuals behind the work.

No two leaders are in the same stage of their career, so we’re giving them each a financial award of $30,000 to spend how they see fit. We’ve seen the power that direct cash assistance can have through our grantees (for example GiveDirectly) and believe that each leader will know best how to spend their award for their own development.

There is also great power in being able to exchange ideas with fellow leaders, so in addition to creating opportunities for the leaders to learn from each other, they will each also receive mentorship from directors and vice presidents at Google who will be able to provide coaching tailored to their needs. Mentors will include Engineering Director Mekka Okereke, and VP of Marketing in India, Sapna Chadha.

The work of these Leaders to Watch is inspiring, daring and optimistic, and we can’t wait to see what they accomplish in the coming years.

Giving $2 billion to nonprofits since 2017

Five years ago, Google.org committed to contributing $1 billion to organizations around the world that are working to create opportunities for everyone. Today, thanks in part to the generosity of our employees, we’ve doubled that goal. Since 2017, we’ve provided more than $2 billion in cash grants and employee contributions to nonprofits, and Google employees have collectively volunteered the equivalent of 160 years worth of time with organizations they’re passionate about.

When we started Google.org in 2004, we wanted to use the best of Google to help solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges. Today, our commitment to nonprofits goes beyond cash grants and volunteering to include access to our products and technical expertise.

In addition to grants and employee contributions, we’ve donated over $7 billion in Ad Grants since 2017. These donated ads help organizations connect with potential donors, recruit volunteers and inform people of their services — and do so at the moment when their services are needed most.

We know that magic happens when we pair funding with employee tech expertise through Google.org Fellowships, a pro bono program that matches Google employees with nonprofits and civic entities to work full time for up to six months on technical projects. Last year alone, Fellows worked on projects that included raising awareness about gaps in health equity, making it easier for people in Detroit to find affordable housing, using AI to stop pests devastating crops that feed communities across India, and more.

As we mark these milestones of nonprofit giving, we also want to look to the future and focus on where tech-driven philanthropy can have the most impact.

We believe in the importance of taking big bets on new ideas that can pay off in the long run. Take our grantee GiveDirectly for example. Back in 2012, they shared with us a new idea about giving cash directly to people in need, and we jumped on board to provide some of their first seed funding. Today, there are more than 300 studies on the effectiveness of direct cash transfers, and GiveDirectly has distributed more than $500 million, making them one of the fastest-growing nonprofits of the decade.

We also know that when solving global issues — whether it’s supporting vaccine roll-out or creating economic opportunity — equity and inclusion are critical. We’ll continue to advocate for the role technology can play in driving equitable outcomes in everything from health to racial justice.

Our grantees around the world inspire us every day, and we’re excited to continue this journey towards a better world, together.

Giving $2 billion to nonprofits since 2017

Five years ago, Google.org committed to contributing $1 billion to organizations around the world that are working to create opportunities for everyone. Today, thanks in part to the generosity of our employees, we’ve doubled that goal. Since 2017, we’ve provided more than $2 billion in cash grants and employee contributions to nonprofits, and Google employees have collectively volunteered the equivalent of 160 years worth of time with organizations they’re passionate about.

When we started Google.org in 2004, we wanted to use the best of Google to help solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges. Today, our commitment to nonprofits goes beyond cash grants and volunteering to include access to our products and technical expertise.

In addition to grants and employee contributions, we’ve donated over $7 billion in Ad Grants since 2017. These donated ads help organizations connect with potential donors, recruit volunteers and inform people of their services — and do so at the moment when their services are needed most.

We know that magic happens when we pair funding with employee tech expertise through Google.org Fellowships, a pro bono program that matches Google employees with nonprofits and civic entities to work full time for up to six months on technical projects. Last year alone, Fellows worked on projects that included raising awareness about gaps in health equity, making it easier for people in Detroit to find affordable housing, using AI to stop pests devastating crops that feed communities across India, and more.

As we mark these milestones of nonprofit giving, we also want to look to the future and focus on where tech-driven philanthropy can have the most impact.

We believe in the importance of taking big bets on new ideas that can pay off in the long run. Take our grantee GiveDirectly for example. Back in 2012, they shared with us a new idea about giving cash directly to people in need, and we jumped on board to provide some of their first seed funding. Today, there are more than 300 studies on the effectiveness of direct cash transfers, and GiveDirectly has distributed more than $500 million, making them one of the fastest-growing nonprofits of the decade.

We also know that when solving global issues — whether it’s supporting vaccine roll-out or creating economic opportunity — equity and inclusion are critical. We’ll continue to advocate for the role technology can play in driving equitable outcomes in everything from health to racial justice.

Our grantees around the world inspire us every day, and we’re excited to continue this journey towards a better world, together.

A Matter of Impact: November updates from Google.org

COP26 wrapped up last week, and world leaders and industry experts headed home with commitments made to work together to further reduce emissions. You can learn more about Google’s commitments in this blog post.

Even for climate negotiators, transparent and trustworthy data around emissions can be hard to come by. Historically, there has been a limited push to build the kind of data sets and models needed to create a shared fact base for everyone. So we asked ourselves: How can we help advocates, citizens, governments and businesses take action on climate, faster?

We believe philanthropic dollars can play a critical role in creating important public goods, like transparent data sets and accessible digital tools, that might not otherwise exist. The world urgently needs a solid foundation of data and tools to monitor and verify our progress to make better decisions. That’s why much of our sustainability-related philanthropy is now focused on funding the creation and organization of data and the tools to make this data easily usable.

Three of our grantees launched tools around COP26 that are examples of this in action. Climate TRACE, the world’s first independent, comprehensive, near-real time greenhouse gas (GHG) monitoring platform uses large-scale data and AI models to provide neutral, accurate data for everyone. On the small business side, the work of Normative is hugely promising. They’re building out emissions estimates for SMBs and helping companies automatically compile detailed carbon reports so that they have actionable data to make better decisions around reducing their footprint. And for consumers, there’s Open Food Facts, an open-access food products database where users can see the eco-score of food products with a simple scan of the barcode from a mobile device.

We’re proud to support these organizations and look forward to more opportunities to combine philanthropic funding with technology to help everyone take action on climate change.

In case you missed it 

Here’s recent progress our grantees have made to close these data gaps.

  • BlueConduit is mapping out lead pipes across the U.S, for remediation.
  • Open Food Facts expanded to 50 countries — you’ll hear more on that from their co-founder Pierre Slamich below.
  • Normative debuted their Industry CO2 Insights carbon emissions accounting engine for small businesses at COP26.
  • Restor launched an open data platform built on Google Earth Engine that allows anyone to select an area around the world and analyze its restoration potential.
  • Dark Matter Labs launched their first version of TreesAI (Trees As Infrastructure), an open source platform to make it easy to map, monitor and forecast ecosystem services. The tool helps local authorities attract funds to develop and maintain urban nature-focused tools to fight climate change.
  • Climate TRACE, supported by $8 million in funding from Google.org and a team of Google.org Fellows, talked about their emissions tracking project in this video.

Hear from one of our grantees: Open Food Facts

Pierre Slamich is the co-founder of Open Food Facts, a collaborative effort to create a worldwide database of food products, thanks to mobile apps that also empower citizens to make more informed food choices. Last spring, Open Food Facts received a $1.3 million Google.org grant and support from a team of 11 Google.org Fellows.

A few words with a Google.org Fellow: Astrid Weber

Astrid Weber is a UX Manager on the Google Assistant team and currently working with Normative for a six month Fellowship.

34 organizations lifting up women and girls around the world

"Our program trains and lifts women who never thought they could rise," says Mariel Reyes Milk. Mariel is the CEO of Reprograma, which teaches computer programming to Black and transgender women in Brazil. Reprograma is one of the 34 organizations receiving funding and additional support from the Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls. Though the mission of each organization is unique, they share a common goal to create economic opportunities that lift up women and girls around the world.

In March, recognizing that COVID-19 was quickly widening the gender equity gap, Google.org put out a $25 million call for project proposals to economically empower women and girls. The response was greater than we have seen for any other Google.org Impact Challenge, with 7,800 applications coming in from more than 160 countries.

With the help of anall star panel of female experts and our Impact Challenge partners, Vital Voices and Project Everyone, we narrowed the field to 34. Their solutions help women and girls, especially those from geographically, economically or socially marginalized populations, reach their full economic potential, and in doing so, strengthen the well-being of entire communities.

Moving forward, recipients will participate in a four-month Google accelerator program led by our Women Techmaker community and supported by Vital Voices. Select organizations will also receive a Google.org Fellowship and donated ads to promote their mission.

You can learn more about our selected organizations on our Impact Challenge website. I am so thrilled Google.org is supporting these organizations in their work to improve the lives of women and girls around the world. The organizations are pretty excited, too.

A new path to jobs for our military community

Dissatisfied with her job in retail, U.S. Marine Corps veteran Amie Hanbury enrolled in the Google Career Certificate program on Coursera to learn job-ready skills that could help her start a new career in IT support. The flexible online training allowed Amie to learn while maintaining her full-time job. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, her retail store closed to customers, leaving her with less to do while at work, but more time to study. As she worked through the curriculum, she learned new skills, her confidence grew and soon she was applying for jobs in IT. Today, Amie is a Google Career Certificate graduate and works as a lead field technician; she says she couldn’t be happier with her new career.

Amie’s story is just one example of how Google is helping make progress in expanding opportunity for the military community, and one that inspires me personally. As the proud daughter of a 20-year Army veteran, I’m honored to announce Google.org will provide $20 million in grant funding and in-kind product donations to support economic empowerment for veterans and the military community. This includes a $10 million cash grant to Hiring Our Heroes to launch the Career Forward program. The initiative will provide 8,000 veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses with the skills and career support they need to get great jobs through free access to the Google Career Certificates.

The certificates are portable, industry-recognized credentials that prepare people for in-demand, entry-level jobs and allow certificate graduates to work in high-growth career fields across state and international boundaries — no degree or relevant experience required. The certificates are also flexible, so learners can study on their own time, and they have a track record of advancing economic mobility — 82% of graduates report a positive career impact within six months of completion, such as a raise, promotion or new job.

The cash grant will also enable Hiring Our Heroes to provide job search support, like interview prep and career workshops, to help learners succeed. They’ll assist in placing certificate graduates in 12-week paid job training fellowships at one of more than 400 employers in the Hiring Our Heroes network. After training, graduates can connect with employers like Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, Freedom Learning Group, Verizon, Molecula and of course, Google. These companies are just a few of the more than 150 members of ouremployer consortium committed to hiring and reskilling veterans and military spouses.

Google.org will also donate $10 million in Ad Grants to veteran serving organizations — including Hiring Our Heroes, Code Platoon, Black Veterans Project and Minority Veterans of America — to help them connect with veterans and their families who are searching for their services on Google. To help ensure as many people as possible have access to resources for the military community, we’re also working with partners that serve our military community at the local and national levels. For example, the Department of Labor’s Transition Employment Assistance for Military Spouses (TEAMS) resource guide now includes information about the Google Career Certificates and links to our updated Military Spouse Career Roadmap, developed in partnership with Hiring Our Heroes, which provides helpful tools for military spouses as they forge ahead on new career paths.

To support transitioning service members as they make their moves to civilian life, our own Google Veterans Network (VetNet) — a community of veteran, military spouse and civilian ally Google employees — will volunteer with Hiring Our Heroes over the next year to host free workshops for thousands of service members. During these workshops, VetNet Googlers plan to provide career advice, resume support and job search training.

Today’s news builds on our longstanding commitment to increase economic opportunity in the military community. We've created Search capabilities to make it easier for veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses to find relevant job opportunities on Google. We also became an official partner of the Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership, and announced five days of paid leave for military spouses every time their service member receives orders.

Our hope is that increased access to portable career credentials and employment opportunities can ease some of the challenges our military community faces in reaching economic mobility. Visit our online hub to learn more about our free tools and resources for the military community.

A Matter of Impact: October updates from Google.org

Note: For this edition, Jacquelline Fuller is passing the pen to her colleague Hector Mujica, who leads our Economic Opportunity work, to share more about how we approach skill building and recent support from Google.org to honor Hispanic Heritage Month.

One of our goals is to help people — especially those without college degrees — gain the skills they need to pursue in-demand, higher-paying careers. This is a topic that is deeply personal to me, as a Latino in tech, and that is important to Google, as a company that strives to create greater equity and access to opportunity — particularly for underserved communities.

We know that 80% of middle-class jobs in the U.S. require a strong knowledge of digital skills, and that these jobs often pay better. That’s why we partner with nonprofit organizations to help them bring digital skilling solutions to historically underserved and excluded people, like the Latino community. We support organizations like the Hispanic Federation and Per Scholas to use solutions, like the Google Career Certificate and other digital skill training programs, that help job seekers gain the right skills to land jobs in the digital economy. These organizations provide not only training, but also the wraparound support needed to make sure participants can access jobs and success at them.

There’s not a single solution to tackle these economic challenges. In an effort to advance the dialog and create fulfilling opportunities for all, we’re also supporting research to unpack how to best support Latino digital inclusion in the workforce with organizations like [email protected] and Aspen Institute’s Latino and Society Program.

In case you missed it 

To mark Hispanic Heritage Month (which runs September 15-October 15), we’re announcing a $1M grant to the Latino Community Foundation’s Latino Entrepreneur Fund to support Latino micro-entrepreneurs across rural and urban communities in California; and donating $1M+ in ads to participants in a new Latino Founders Fund, helping them reach new audiences and address funding inequities. We’re also supporting Latinos searching for jobs: we announced a $1 million reinvestment in the Hispanic Federation.

Hear from one of our grantees: Hispanic Federation

Frankie Miranda is the President and CEO of the Hispanic Federation. Their mission is to empower the Latino community by increasing the capacity of Latino-led and Latino-serving community-based organizations (CBOs) with funding, technical assistance and a resource sharing network.

A few words with a Google.org Fellow: Rosalva Gallardo

Rosalva Gallardo is a Program Manager for Google Shopping.

A Matter of Impact: September updates from Google.org

Jacquelline’s Corner

The pandemic laid bare existing inequalities across gender, race, class and country lines. And at the same time, other disasters — like hurricanes, wildfires and earthquakes — continue to affect people globally and strain already tight resources. To have the greatest impact, we rely on strong relationships with nonprofit organizations around the world that are working on disaster preparedness, relief and recovery — like the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and GiveDirectly, that you’ll hear more about below. We learn about their needs and search for where our philanthropic capital — coupled with technology, data and an eye toward equity — can help make the biggest difference.

But we’re also asking ourselves this: what if cities and organizations could predict disasters and be better prepared with resources before they even happen? With a changing climate, we know there’s more to do in advance of crises to mitigate loss of lives and livelihoods. That’s why we’re betting more and more on the role that technologies like AI and machine learning can play in generating the data we need to be better informed and prepared ahead of disasters.

Last year, our grantees provided 6.9 million people around the world with crisis relief support and resources for long term recovery. An additional 2.8 million people were better prepared with resources and supplies, and nearly three-quarters of our grantees are developing tools to improve the availability of information during a crisis. Together, we can ensure that those who are most vulnerable during a crisis are more protected — before, during and after it hits.

In case you missed it 

Kent Walker, Google SVP for Global Affairs, recently announced a $1.5M grant to The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affair’s (UN OCHA) Centre for Humanitarian Data. The grant will go toward supporting their “Anticipatory Action” work that focuses on developing forecasting models to anticipate humanitarian crises and trigger earlier, smarter action before conditions worsen.

Hear from one of our grantees: Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Regine A. Webster is the founding executive director and vice president of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP), an organization that seeks to strengthen the ability of communities to withstand disasters and recover equitably when they occur. Since 2010, CDP has provided donors with timely and effective strategies to increase their disaster giving impact, and they work to amp up philanthropy’s game when it comes to disaster and humanitarian assistance giving.

A woman with a short bob haircut smiling at the camera.

Regine A. Webster, founding executive director and vice president of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP).

“In 2020 alone, with support from Google.org and other donors, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) awarded $29.9 million to 173 organizations. These grants helped communities in 50 countries, including the entire United States and its territories, respond to COVID-19, hurricanes, typhoons, wildfires, flooding, earthquake, complex humanitarian emergencies and other disasters. The partnership we have with Google.org allows CDP to implement what we know to be effective disaster grantmaking around the globe. Perhaps more importantly though, philanthropic funding from Google.org and Googlers gives our expert team the freedom to test the way that race and power play themselves out in the disaster recovery context as we award grants to historically marginalized populations. We can test our assumptions on how to direct dollars to lift up Black, Indigenous and other communities of color and the organizations that serve them even in the face of disaster adversity, and how to work with disaster-serving organizations worldwide. We seek to inform the future of disaster philanthropy.”

A few words with a Google.org Fellow: GiveDirectly

Growing up in a family of community advocates, I developed both a strong sense of social justice and an interest in using my skills for the community. This made me excited to work with GiveDirectly for my Google.org Fellowship. GiveDirectly gives no-strings-attached cash to its recipients, empowering people to improve their lives.

A man standing in front of greenery, smiling at the camera.

Janak Ramakrishnan, is a software engineer and Google.org Fellow .

“The fellowship focused on expanding GiveDirectly’s work into a new sector: Americans affected by hurricanes. With climate change, hurricanes are becoming deadlier and more frequent. In their aftermath, aid organizations struggle to get help to affected areas; cash aid can be a great option in those cases. We worked with GiveDirectly to use Google’s expertise in big data and mapping, like Google Earth Engine, on this problem. Our project helped GiveDirectly quickly identify the most affected people right after a disaster hits, when every hour counts.”

How life’s twists helped Lisa Mensah find her passion

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of interviews between expert panelists for the Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls. 


Lisa Mensah works to make sure business owners who “don’t get a fair shake” can get the capital they need to grow. She’s the president and CEO of the Opportunity Finance Network(OFN), which provides capital, advocacy, and capacity building to community development financial institutions (CDFIs). Driven by a mission to serve rural, urban and Native communities underserved by mainstream finance, CDFIs lend to small businesses and community developers who build thriving communities. 


Lisa brings her experience working at the crux of finance and advocacy to the Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls. As one of our expert panelists, she helps us decide what organizations will receive funding from Google.org to help women and girls reach their full economic potential. I recently sat down with her to learn more about her path to OFN and why supporting women-led businesses is crucial. 


What got you started on your path? 

I’m from a bi-racial, bi-cultural family, and lived in Ghana as a young kid. I always thought I would do something in international relations. 


While I was getting my master’s degree, I was most interested in helping refugees and women in developing countries. But I felt I was missing out on powerful conversations — often led by men — on how nations develop. These conversations were frequently about money. So, my path pointed me to the financial industry, where I could be involved in strategic decision-making that would ultimately affect issues surrounding women. 


I began my career in commercial banking at Citibank. From there I moved to the Ford Foundation where I used my banking knowledge to help the Foundation build its program in microfinance and development finance. That’s where I fell in love with CDFIs, and I’ve worked with them ever since. Life’s twists pointed me to my true north, which is a combination of finance and advocating for change for people in poverty. 


What sparked your interest in inclusion for women in finance?

From an early time, I was interested in the economy at the grassroots. That’s usually the economy that women inhabit. I wanted to understand: Who is really feeding everyone? Who is keeping kids healthy? Who is providing income to families? Women across the world, often in informal employment, were leading this.

Poverty in the U.S. is a phenomenon that is quite gendered, often women-led households are lower income. By getting involved in development finance, I was able to see who controls the money and found that women-led enterprises and activities were being left out. 


How have CDFIs been transformative for female-led businesses?

Female and minority entrepreneurs have a harder time accessing affordable bank financing than their male counterparts. This is where CDFIs shine: where others see risk, we see opportunity. CDFIs take time to understand our clients and tailor products for them. This played out again and again during the pandemic when CDFIs provided great relief to women-owned small businesses.

Why did you get involved with the Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls?

The Google.org Impact Challenge will surface leaders that are flying under the radar in their countries and areas of work. We'll resource them to operate at a new level, like a venture capitalist finding the next big company. There aren’t enough philanthropic dollars for all the ideas that are out there in the world, but Google.org’s intention is to find efforts that are benefitting women and girls and support them at scale. That’s powerful, and I’m really pleased to be a part of it. 


Pretend you have a megaphone to reach every little girl around the world. What’s your message for them?

Your dreams are yours and they are real. They’re in you for a reason. You’ve got your contribution to make to this world — don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. And even if your path changes, like mine did, you’ll find your way. Along your journey, look for your cheerleaders and helpers — find the people who believe in you and will support you in your dreams and ambitions.

More from this Collection

The Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls

Learn more about the Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls, and the 29-woman expert panel who is supporting the effort.

View all 5 articles

A Matter of Impact: August updates from Google.org

Jacquelline’s Corner

It’s back to school season again, and the pandemic continues to affect teachers, families and students — especially those already lacking educational resources. Despite the challenges and unknowns, nonprofits working in education continue to push forward and innovate to support learning. It’s clear that the ability to pivot is a common strength necessary for these times, and as funders and supporters we must ensure organizations have the space to adapt priorities and meet learners where they are. 

Over the course of the pandemic, through our Distance Learning Fund, we’ve supported organizations — like INCO and TalkingPoints which you’ll read more about below — that pivoted to provide training and support to teachers learning how to educate remotely, delivered high-quality digital learning opportunities for students, and also created the resources needed to keep learning happening in an equitable way.

In the face of ongoing and overlapping challenges — the pandemic, climate change, racial injustices — I’m continually inspired by the new approaches that our grantees like these, and others, take to help the world’s young learners as they enter another year of education. 


In case you missed it 

Our hearts go out to all those affected by the crisis in Afghanistan. To help, Google and Googlers are providing more than $4M in support to organizations on the front lines aiding those who are particularly impacted — women, refugees and journalists. 


Hear from one of our grantees: INCO

Hei-Yue Pang is the APAC Lead at INCO, a global organization working to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy through forward-looking education and support to entrepreneurs.

With millions of children across the world kept out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic, INCO launched the INCO Education Accelerator in April 2020 — with the support of a $2.5M grant from Google.org and our Distance Learning Fund. The accelerator supports education nonprofits across Europe and Asia and creates equitable access to education for children, especially those from under-resourced families. With technical assistance from distance learning experts and Google volunteers, the nonprofits multiplied their impact and collectively provided uninterrupted access to education for over 360,000 students — nearly 28 times more students than before their accelerator program. 

Photo of woman in black clothes and a necklace sitting against a bright yellow back drop.

Hei-Yue Pang is the APAC Lead at INCO. 

“Implementing this intensive program across 9 different countries reinforced our belief that the benefits of distance learning extend beyond a stop-gap solution during the pandemic. When it comes to uncovering distance learning opportunities, understanding the needs of students, families and educators is crucial. For example, one of our partners in Indonesia learned through research that parent engagement was key to successfully onboarding learners in remote areas. They tweaked their e-learning platform features to be more parent-oriented, which resulted in higher learner engagement rates. Ultimately, not only did we provide an emergency response program, but we also empowered grantees to become more resilient for the future of education.”

A few words with a Google.org Fellow: TalkingPoints

Fiona Yeung is UX Designer at Google who is participating in a Google.org Fellowship with TalkingPoints, an AI-powered multilingual platform that helps teachers and families stay connected via text message and an easy-to-use-mobile app.

Woman with long hair smiling in front of a gallery wall.

Fiona Yeung, a Google UX Designer and Google.org Fellow. 


"As a first-generation Canadian with Asian parents, I grew up speaking Chinese at home and English in school. And although I’ve become somewhat of a language fanatic — learning Japanese and French in addition to Cantonese, Mandarin and English — I strongly empathize with families who regularly face challenges due to language and cultural barriers. That’s why I found TalkingPoints’ mission to connect teachers and families across languages and socioeconomic divides so compelling.

Working with TalkingPoints full time reminded me that giving back even a relatively small time can create enormous impact when your team is driving toward a shared mission that is empowering and rewarding. Last spring, at the height of the pandemic, the volume of communication on TalkingPoints multiplied by 20 — ballooning to more than 100M messages exchanged, approximately half of which were in languages other than English."