Invest and Evaluate: a Landscape Guide to Youth Workforce Development Programs

yBy: Yvonne Thomas, Director of Global Citizenship & Public Affairs at Microsoft In our rapidly changing, hyper-connected world, the information and communication technology (ICT) industry is driving economic growth, innovation, and job creation. More than 50 percent of today’s jobs require some degree of technology skills—and some experts say that will increase to 77 percent…


Announcing our support of the BRAID initiative

By: Yvonne Thomas, Global Director of YouthSpark Providing all young people with the opportunity to learn computer science is something we feel strongly about at Microsoft. Through our YouthSpark initiative, we work with partners and programs around the world who focus on helping young people learn how to become creators of technology – especially for…


Meet our new YouthSpark Youth Advisors!

By: Yvonne Thomas, Global Director of YouthSpark Last week we announced big updates to our Microsoft YouthSpark initiative as we cross our two year milestone, and today we're announcing the YouthSpark Youth Advisors, as a way for us to seek ideas, feedback and insight directly from an amazing group of young people and ensure YouthSpark…


Helping Students Learn Through the Summer

By Kari Sherrodd, senior manager, Citizenship and Public Affairs Summer break is just around the corner! This time of year, many parents struggle to come up with ways to keep their kids learning and engaged with fun activities throughout the summer months. We want to help. As part of Microsoft YouthSpark, Microsoft offers several programs, classes…


Microsoft Joins SF Gives to Fight Poverty in Bay Area

By Sid Espinosa, Director, Philanthropy and Civic Engagement At Microsoft, we invest in community programs that are innovative and focus on real problems and creative solutions. In San Francisco, Microsoft is supporting a new initiative called SF Gives, which is a partnership with Tipping Point, one of the most high-impact organizations in the San Francisco…


Global Microsoft YouthSpark Summit Convenes to Focus on Youth

By Yvonne Thomas, senior program manager, Citizenship and Public Affairs Last week at our Redmond headquarters, we were honored to host more than 50 representatives from youth-focused organizations from around the world that we partner with as part of Microsoft YouthSpark. Our intent over the two-day YouthSpark Summit was to bring together our global and…


The Votes are In: Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge for Change Winners Announced!

By Kari Sherrodd, senior manager, Citizenship and Public Affairs Earlier this year we launched Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge for Change—a contest that asked young people ages 18 to 25 around the world to submit an idea for a social good project designed to spark change in their communities. Today, we are very proud to announce this…


Microsoft’s 2013 YouthSpark Challenge for Change Winners: Where are They Now?

By Kari Sherrodd, senior manager, Citizenship and Public Affairs The inaugural Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge for Change contest last year received hundreds of entries, and five inspirational winners were each awarded $2,500 to help fund their projects, as well as a Surface, a Windows Phone 8, an Xbox and a three-week volunteer travel experience to Kenya….


DigiGirlz Inspires Young Women to Explore STEM Careers

By Akhtar Badshah, senior director, Citizenship and Public Affairs Careers in technology are a hot topic of discussion these days, and for good reason. According to Code.org, computer science is a top paying college degree and computer programming jobs are growing at twice the national average. Outside the United States, the tech sector is also…


We’re Matching Your Donations Today! Fund Innovative Projects to Transform Schools Worldwide

By Akhtar Badshah, senior director, Citizenship and Public Affairs Last month, at the Microsoft in Education Global Forum, I had the honor of judging “The School Pitch,” which was a challenge that asked principals and headmasters to share their vision for how they would transform their schools with extra funding and support. Modeled after the…