You’ve heard of Reading, Writing, and ‘Rithmetic, but what about STEM? In January 2013, representatives from Groupon, including Jeff Holden, SVP of Product Development, Patty Morrissey, Head of Social Innovation, and Nadia Rawlinson, Head of Talent Development, attended the White House Teach Inclusion Summit led by the White House CTO, Todd Park. The summit’s focus was bridging the gap for women and minorities in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. Groupon was in attendance with Citizen Schools, a nonprofit that incubated one of the key initiatives, US2020. The initiative has a goal of matching 1 million STEM professionals to mentor students at youth-serving nonprofits by 2020.
Following the summit, Groupon committed to the US2020 initiative with a goal of engaging Groupon product engineers in bridging the gap between low income students and STEM careers. Throughout 2013, Groupon and the Employee Volunteer Program (EVP) made great strides in achieving our goal, surpassing our initial goal and engaging 36 employees from Groupon Product and Engineering in 2013.
Below are summaries for some of the exciting STEM initiative that Groupon’s Employee Volunteer Program (EVP) conducted in 2013:
As part of Groupon’s continued partnership with Citizen Schools, four Groupon engineers (out of 18 total Groupon participants) taught Citizen Schools apprenticeships at local public schools in 2013. STEM-based apprenticeships included the Math All-Stars apprenticeship for 15 students, which focused on creating sketches for a roller coaster prototype, and the GoogFaceTweetaGram apprenticeship for 17 students, which taught students how to create their own websites.
In 2013, Groupon also worked with national non-profit, Spark, which offers programming in Groupon office locations in Chicago, Palo Alto, and San Francisco, allowing employees in Groupon offices outside Chicago to participate, as well. Eight STEM employees (out of 13 total Groupon participants) led Spark workplace mentorships for low-income students in local public schools.
Groupon EVP also partnered with our Women in Engineering group in October and hosted 75 Girl Scouts at Groupon HQ in Chicago for a “Scout Out Engineering Day.” The Girl Scouts participated in two STEM-focused activities and received a Groupon Scout Out Engineering patch upon completion. Twenty-four Groupon employees from Groupon Product and Engineering volunteered during the event.
In 2014, Groupon plans to continue our commitment to STEM education by engaging more engineers and STEM employees, and offering STEM-focused volunteer opportunities in all five of our national offices (Chicago, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, and Palo Alto).