Monday Jul 20, 2009

Volunteering @ Sun: NJ/NY BEN Hosts 60+ HS Students...2009 Governor's School

For the fourth year in a row the Sun Black Employee Network and a whole bunch of other Sun volunteers came together to host 60+ students from this year's NJ Governor's School of Engineering and Technology Program. We were back in our Somerset office once again which made for easy logistics this time around - the program ran pretty much on time most of the day although it was tough to keep the session s from running over.

This year we have a Facebook fan page where we've been posting information, photos, and videos about the program.

We experimented with fewer but longer sessions this year - 6 sessions lasting 30 mins vs 9 sessions lasting 20 mins. I think the new format went over well but our survey responses are still coming in so I'll report back on the general consensus from the students. They kept their energy levels up all day and many said they got a lot out of the content. It doesn't hurt that I'm sure they enjoyed the tons of giveaways we had for this year's program. And speaking of content I promised I'd put the presentations up on my blog so the students could dive into the issues discussed in more detail.

In addition the website referenced during the Student Learning Services lunch time session are as follows:

Lastly I just wanted to say a big thank you to all the Sun volunteers for all the help. Pulling off these events are never easy - throw in a few hiccups into the mix and things get even more interesting ;-) That said I think the program ran rather smoothly even with less people actually volunteering this year.

At the end of the day I think the kids got a lot out of the event and I'm sure their lives were positively impacted. Without help from you guys we could never make things happen - Diane Mathis and I really appreciate all the tremendous efforts and look forward to your help next year.

Thursday Aug 14, 2008

Volunteering @ Sun: Governor's School Podcast

My co-worker and partner in the struggle, Diane Mathis, was interviewed by the folks from Sun.com Headlines. Volunteers at Sun will be featured in a new regular podcast called Philanthropy at Sun. Check out the inteview (MP3).

Wednesday Jul 16, 2008

Volunteering @ Sun: NJ/NY BEN Hosts 80 HS Students for a day

I'll post more later but for the third year in a row the Sun Black Employee Network and a whole bunch of other Sun volunteers came together to host 80 students from this year's NJ Governor's School of Engineering and Technology Program. The students had to endure a lot getting to our 101 Park Ave NYC office from Rutgers in Piscataway - half of them had to walk from the Lincoln Tunnel because of the mid-town gridlock due to the All-Star Game festivities. Even with all that they kept their energy levels up all day and many said they would have stayed even longer since they got a lot out of the content. And speaking of content I promised I'd put the presentations up on my blog today so the students could dive into the issues discussed in more detail.

I'll discuss more about the day, upload some pictures and video in my next post. In the meantime I'd love to hear some comments from any student that attended the event. I'll see you guys on Friday at Rutgers...

Thursday Dec 20, 2007

Volunteering @ Sun: NJ/NY BEN Hosts 100 HS Students for a day

I'm woefully behind in entries so I'm doing my end of the year rush. One of the things I've been most proud of is helping run a great volunteer event at Sun. During this past summer the employee group I'm a part of (Sun's Black Employee Network) along with a number of other Sun volunteers once again hosted 100 high school seniors from the NJ Governor's School of Engineering and Technology Program. this was the second year in a row we did in a whirlwind of a day where we gave the students exposure to how Sun creates, sells, uses, and services technology that impacts the world at large.

We kept the format from last year of having a fast paced day with small groups. We divided the students into 9 small groups and rotated them through 9 breakout sessions. Each session was 20 mins - we planned for 10-12 minute presentations, 5-7 minutes of Q&A, and a few minutes leftover to move the groups to their next sessions. Our post-event anonymous survey of the students got us a 96% positive rating on the day so while we've got a few things to tweak it's clear the students are getting something out of our effort.

We had some special keynote speakers in Hal Stern, Senior Vice President of Systems Engineering, and Jim Parkinson, Vice President, Collaboration Engineering who both did a great job in opening and closing the event. Them along with all the great speakers, student team leads, people who helped us get swag for the students, etc all made the day another reason why I still like working at Sun.

Last but not least here's a picture of some of the team that pulled off another great event.

We're now confirmed to run the program again next year so we'll have another chance to experiment with the format and maybe allow for longer sessions so the students can have more in depth presentations or demos. Looking forward to the next go around...

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