In a few short days, I will join thousands of my Comcast NBCUniversal coworkers alongside our other volunteers to give back to our local communities as part of Comcast Cares Day. I’ve worked at Comcast for eight years, and for me each Comcast Cares Day has been more special than the next. From feeding the hungry, to cleaning up school playgrounds, I know my service to my community truly makes a difference.
This year I’m especially excited to volunteer for a couple of reasons. For the first time, I will be leading a Comcast Cares Day project. Specifically, I will be working with my colleagues from the Washington D.C. area who belong to our company’s Black Employee Network, one of several Employee Resource Groups at Comcast. We will partner with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington at the Richard England Clubhouse 14 in Northeast Washington, D.C., that we helped renovate two years ago with state-of-the-art technology as part of the company’s national launch of the My.Future technology training program. On Comcast Cares Day, our group will lead a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workshop that teaches kids how to write computer code and program a mini computer, called Raspberry Pi. This fun and easy workshop will give kids a hands-on, interactive experience to help illustrate the technology behind our XFINITY products and services, all while hopefully inspiring them to pursue and excel careers in these fields.
Statistics show that children across the country, especially young girls, typically lose interest in STEM around the 6th grade. The STEM fields have always had a lack of diversity since women and minorities are significantly underrepresented and men tend to dominate the jobs in the technology industry. And for women, the numbers aren’t growing.
This issue resonates with me on a personal level. As an African American woman working for a technology company, I see the importance of young girls, especially African American girls, seeing themselves reflected in all careers and specifically those in technology. I want to be a part of the solution to this problem and help shatter these stereotypes to figure out how to promote female advancement in the STEM fields.
As the lead for our Black Employee Network chapter and a Comcast employee, I’m proud to work for a company that is investing in our youth with programs like this to help ignite female participation in the STEM fields from a young age. I have a 2 1/2-year-old daughter, Chloe, and she’s already interested in technology and plays on all my devices. I want to channel her natural curiosity around STEM early on to make sure she’s aware of the different opportunities she can pursue later in life, while giving her immersive experiences that will help unlock her potential, and hopefully do the same for many other children as well. I also want her to learn the importance of giving back to our community and the joy we get from being of service to others.
In addition to supporting the Boys & Girls Club with our STEM workshop, my team of more than 40 Black Employee Network volunteers will also assist with homework, mentoring and recreational activities. We’re going to do our part to help inspire future generations and build our future leaders – and I’m thrilled that Comcast Cares Day gives us another opportunity to show people we care.