Groupon Welcomes Girls Who Code

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The day has come where we welcome twenty of the best and brightest rising high school juniors and seniors from Washington, Idaho, Kentucky, and Arizona for seven weeks of coding and mentoring through the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program!

The girls will spend the next seven weeks in our beautiful Seattle office receiving an intensive intro to coding concepts through languages such as Scratch, Python, C\C++, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and fun applications like video games, robotics, and web development.

Participants will also have the opportunity to learn from some of our very own. We’ve matched students with female employees so they can be mentored by other strong women in technology. Additionally, the girls will have the chance to hear from Grouponers in a speaker series covering a wide array of topics such as life as a developer at Groupon, empowering women in technology, and the concept of regular expression patterns.

And because they don’t have enough to do, the girls will apply what they’ve learned and build something of their very own as part of a team project. Projects that have come out of past summer immersion programs include Tampon Run, a video game to take the taboos out of menstruation, and jackALERT, a jacket that lights up when one feels like they are in a potentially harmful situation.

The culmination of all the girls’ hard work will be presented in a graduation ceremony hosted on Thursday, August 11th at the Seattle Public Library. We invite all Groupon employees, friends of the program, and lovers of technology to join us as these new Girls Who Code alumnae share their projects with the world!

Groupon’s partnership with Girls Who Code is part of our larger commitment to STEM education and closing the gender gap in the engineering and technology industry. Led by the Social Responsibility and Talent Development teams, this is Groupon’s 2nd year partnering with GWC. You can read all about last year’s program — hosted in Chicago — and see for yourself what an amazing opportunity this program is for the girls and the volunteers alike.

Groupon’s partnership with Girls Who Code is part of our larger commitment to STEM education and closing the gender gap in the engineering and technology industry. Led by the Social Responsibility and Talent Development teams, this is Groupon’s 2nd year partnering with GWC. You can read all about last year’s program — hosted in Chicago — and see for yourself what an amazing opportunity this program is for the girls and the volunteers alike.

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Groupon Volunteers Travel to Nicaragua with Spark Ventures

This fall, Groupon’s Employee Volunteer Program teamed up with Spark Ventures to send six employees on an impact travel experience to Nicaragua. Employee volunteers were awarded the chance to travel with Spark as the winners of our annual Very Serious, Super-Competitive Employee Volunteer-a-thon.

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Our week in Nicaragua was filled with good food, beautiful sunsets, and even better company of the children and staff at Las Tías. Las Tías is a secular, nonprofit organization operating in León, Nicaragua. Las Tías was started by 8 women merchants in 1989 to serve vulnerable children in their community through nutrition and educational programming. Through their 23 year history, Las Tías has served 850 adolescents and 1,060 children.

Each morning, we kicked off the day with a Spanish lesson and little history of the Nicaraguan culture that we would soon be immersed in. We spent the beginning of our adventure at the youth center of Las Tías where they serve up to 80 students, ages 6-13, at any given time. The Grouponers were draped in kids and had so much fun helping them  practice their colors and numbers in both Spanish and English. The girls loved braiding the female volunteers’ hair, and the boys kept the male volunteers busy (and sweaty) by climbing their shoulders to play “lando lando” (tag). After a couple fun-filled days with the students, we got to spend one of our last evenings with “the tías”, who run the organization, to share a homemade Nicaraguan feast and learn a little bit of the native dance to the beat of a Spanish-translated “I Will Survive.”

image1-5One employee, Kevin Tanko, said of the experience:

“My favorite part of the trip was working and playing with the children – practicing English with the kids and playing games with them was so powerful. It was quite eye opening to see the scale of the poverty in the country; and even though they don’t have much, the students were always happy to see us smiling, laughing and just being kids. We had the opportunity to visit a student’s home on Day 3; it was a surreal experience to see how the kids at Las Tías live day to day and the struggles that they face.  

It’s difficult to explain this kind of experience in words, but the takeaways of a trip like this are more of an emotion than anything. The level of poverty is nothing like I’ve ever seen before, and I’m so thankful for what I do have. It inspires me to do what I can to help improve people’s lives no matter where I go or where I’m at.”

After our time at Las Tías, we got down to business – Groupon travelers learned all about the incredible work that Spark Ventures is doing behind the scenes to develop sustainable business ventures, creating a stable source of revenue for the organization to support their work and expand their impact in the local community. Next summer Spark volunteers will be planting 85,000 cacao trees, plantains, and chilies to add to the existing 36 (soon to be 100) beehives already on the farm in northern Nicaragua. The revenue made from the investment in the farm will support the work of Las Tías to help vulnerable children reach their potential.

Aside from the volunteer component of the trip, we did get to have a little fun of our own! Grouponers spent the afternoons doing various activities such as: hiking up an active volcano, kayaking through the mangrove forests of Isla Juan Venado nature reserve, “volcano-boarding” down Cerro Negro, zip-lining on the crater of Mombacho, and a boat tour through the islands of Lake Nicaragua.

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Groupon is proud to help people and communities prosper by concocting a secret formula of employee do-goodery, responsible business practices, customer collaboration, and nonprofit investment where our employees live, work, and play.
Want to travel with Spark Ventures? Learn more about how to get involved with this great organization here!

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Groupon for Veterans hosts a Career Day for Local Chicago Veterans

 

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Groupon’s veterans employee resource group recently hosted a career day targeted at men and women transitioning out of the military looking to fine tune their skills and find the next exciting professional opportunity.

We kicked off the day with a Lunch & Learn inviting veterans and employees to join us as we heard from entrepreneurs from Bunker Labs – an incubator to house veteran-owned technology companies – in a panel discussion. Panelists included:

  • Justin Walker – Director of Programs, Bunker Labs
  • Michael Hubbard – Mentor at Bunker Labs & President of the Chicago Veterans Leadership Council
  • Michael Keppen – Entrepreneur at Bunker Labs & Founder of Thrive Project for America

Version 2After a great chat with these inspiring folks, our group of veterans worked with Human Resources professionals from our Recruiting and Talent Development teams to participate in professional development workshops focusing on translating their work done in the military to a professional setting, resume building and LinkedIn, interview skills, and networking 101.

We wrapped up the fun-filled day with a Career Fair and Networking Event where veterans got the opportunity to mingle with Groupon employees and learn about the different department that make this company a well-oiled machine.

Groupon employee and Marine, Greg Jumes, mentioned,”Looking for a job sucked. You feel lost and unsure about your life; because up until your separation date, you have had everything laid out for you. I’m proud to be working for a company that is pro-active in the hiring of veterans and assisting them in professional development via workshops and events. I feel that I’m still able to serve my brothers and sisters in arms from a civilian position.”DSC_0268

Groupon for Veterans is proud to support and provide professional development opportunities for those who have served our country and are looking forward to hosting more events like this in the future!

Groupon is committed to hiring and cultivating a diverse talent pool to continue driving business results across engineering and the company at large. With continued growth and expansion, positioning ourselves for the future is more critical than ever. Groupon’s commitment to diversity spreads across the board. Diversity in people, perspectives, and tools creates an environment of innovation, development, and support that fuels our ability to best serve our customers.

The mission of Groupon for Veterans is to educate the community on Groupon’s core values and desire to give back to those that have served and continue to serve. Our goal is to draw on the professional skills associated with military service through active marketing and community engagement. Groupon for Veterans has an open membership which includes veterans, those currently on active duty, their families, and anyone who supports those who serve our country.


Groupon Logs 14,355 Volunteer Hours

2014 was a year of ‘firsts’ for Groupon’s Employee Volunteer Program –

  • Set our first official volunteering goal of 10,000 hours

  • Hosted our first Super-Competitive, Very Serious Employee Volunteer-a-thon

  • Created a curriculum around leadership and professional development for our employee volunteers

  • Expanded volunteering into San Francisco, Palo Alto, Seattle, New York, London and remote locations where employees live and work in addition to the great things being done in Chicago

  • Hosted The GroupHonors, recognizing outstanding employees and celebrating the amazing work done in our communities

  • Launched our partnership with VolunteerMatch

I am honored to announce that Groupon has surpassed expectations to make our greatest impact yet. Almost 2,500 employees rolled up their sleeves, volunteered and helped Groupon log a total of 14,355 hours! Employees across all departments and all offices in North America and the United Kingdom volunteered anywhere from 1 hour to 1,400 hours of their time to support the communities in which Groupon employees live, work, and play; and for that, I am immensely proud to work amongst such passionate individuals who are dedicated to making this world a better place.

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From competitively assembling lunch bags to mentoring students in bubble chairs to transforming an abandoned lot into a public art gallery filled with community members making goofy faces, Groupon employees have done it all. Employees have leveraged their time, talents, and treasures over the last year to support the amazing work being done by 248 different non-profit organizations. The passion and dedication of our employee volunteers has allowed us to set the bar even higher as we enter a new year.

I am thrilled to announce yet another big, hairy, audacious goal of … drumroll please … 20,000 hours of volunteering in 2015! I cannot wait to see all of the amazing work that will be done in 2015, as Groupon employees continue to support local communities and truly make life less boring.

Alicia Koch, Program Coordinator – Employee & Community Engagement, Social Innovation at Groupon

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