Social Impact Month at Softchoice

This July, we celebrated our third annual Social Impact Month.  

At Softchoice, July serves as a rallying point for every person in the company to generate meaningful impact. With the unprecedented events of this year, it was more important than ever that we looked to better support the communities in which we live and work while building a more giving and compassionate culture.  

Although our employees are working remotely, we found many ways to get involved and support our people and communities virtually.  

What social impact means at Softchoice 

Today, we are living through a global health crisis, an economic emergency and a staggering increase in unemployment that will continue to intensify social and economic inequality 

For many of us at Softchoice, the climate around racial injustice has even further highlighted the need for our organization to further improve diversity and inclusion. We aspire to be a place where anyone can be successful and where everyone feels that they belong.  

At Softchoice, responding to the issues that matter most to our people and communities – what we call “social impact” – is one of the most important ways we bring our values to life.    

Every July, Social Impact Month puts these priorities at the forefront as we encourage every person in the organization to participate in education sessions and volunteering events organized by our Social Impact team, employee-led Softchoice Cares BoardEmployee Resource Groups (ERGs) and a passionate community of ERG and Orange Ambassadors across North America. 

These events are intended to provide opportunities to have an immediate impact. To this end, our Social Impact Month programs are designed around 3 pillars:  

  • Enabling our people to make a difference in their local communities in a way that has meaning to them.  
  • Hosting mentoring and career discovery workshops to help women, newcomers and members of the Black, Indigenous and People of Colour communities who have been struggling to build careers in technology.  
  • Joining in the fight against inequality through ERG-led panels and education sessions where we learn to acknowledge and respect others’ lived experience, identify non-inclusive behavior and create a shared understanding of inclusion.  

 Social impact during the pandemic   

In the face of health, economic and social crises, it was critical that we continued to support Social Impact Month activities, while social distancing measures made it necessary to pivot from in-person to virtual volunteering.  

This effort wasn’t without challenges, including:  

  • Pivoting from traditional, in-person volunteering to virtual events, while continuing to support people and our community in meaningful, impactful ways 
  • Creating enough virtual events to provide 2,000 employees with opportunities to participate 
  • Identifying the best technologto support different types of events 

We encouraged everyone to participate in a minimum of 4 hours of virtual volunteering or education throughout the month of July. team of employee volunteers created a full calendar of event options for both during and after work hours.  

Some of our Social Impact Month highlights included:  

Virtual volunteering and staying connected 

  • The Caring and Connecting Pen Pal Initiative Program which had volunteers write letters to a person who resides in retirement home or long-term care facility.  
  • Employees and their families wrote messages  and created artwork for the St. Joseph Learning and Innovation Centre, Toronto’s Gratitude Wall to provide inspiration for healthcare workers.    
  • Participation in Missing Map sessions that map the most vulnerable places in the developing world, to assist local and international NGOs and individuals to better respond to crises affecting areas in need. 
  • Employees volunteered with one of our partnered charities, Future Founders, to mentor local high schoolers and their entrepreneur business ideas. 
  • A facilitated 2-part event that had volunteers develop 21st-century learning content for marginalized people around the world for Rumie, a technology non-profit making life-changing learning possible for people worldwide.  
  • Employees and their families came together to decorate 150+ lunch sacks for Kids Food Basket, who provide nourishing meals to children living at or near the poverty level.   
  • Held a call-down session to thank more than 500+ donors to Childhood Cancer Canada. 
  • Employees from across North America shared their talents during our virtual talent show to raise funds for some of our amazing charity partners. 

 Mentoring and career discovery 

  • More than 80 employees volunteered for our Mentoring & Career Discovery event series to improve employment outcomes for people in historically disadvantaged groups. We worked with almost 200 job seekers through virtual events in partnership with NPower Canada, ACCES Employment and Skills for Change.   

Joining the fight against inequality 

  • The 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Program focused on mobilizing our ally community to complete one action every day to further their understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression and equity. To support this program, our ERGs curated a list of readings, podcasts, videos, observations and ways to form and deepen community connections. Weekly check-ins allowed program participants to ask questions, discuss key themes and develop plans of action. 
  • Hundreds of employees were involved in discussion panels hosted by our ERGs that addressed the unique challenges  the transgender community faces on a daily basis, accessibility gaps in employee experience, the ways racism manifests itself in the IT industry and how women can manage their careerduring COVID-19.  

 How you can have an impact 

Interested in joining a community of professionals making an impact every single day?  

Visit our Careers page to find exciting career opportunities across North America at Softchoice.  

Navigating Our Response to COVID-19, Guided by Our Values

Toward the end of February, the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic was becoming more evident to the Softchoice leadership team. Our People and Growth leaders knew they would need an agile response to keep our peopleand our customers safe.  

Our business continuity plans to address technology redundancy were in place.  As a result of processes that had been in place for 3 years, we were perhaps ahead of most in our ability to move to a full remote work environment.  Our workplace safety guidelines and operational crisis plan also helped us to address the most common emergency issues. 

 However, we had never been challenged to have a plan that would need to accommodate both our technology business continuity and workplace safety plans in such a pervasive way. As we entered the unchartered waters of the COVID-19 pandemicwe found that our core values served us well. Because our leadership team kept these values at the forefront of their expedited decision-making, the result was an agile response appreciated by our people, partners and customers alike. 

 Softchoice Values  

 Our Softchoice values support our human and inspiring culture, beginning with growing our people first. We recognize the need for overall personal growth and having fun while we’re doing it.  We follow that with customer passion Having deep customer relationships is a cornerstone of our organization, and we are dedicated to our customers success.  To build and sustain those great customer relationships we need to take care of each other. This includes the Softchoice family as well as the communities we serve, work and live in.  Lastly, owning the result, delivering on our promises is critical to our customers’ success.  

 Guided by Our Values 

 The pandemic forced an allremote work environment. School boards closed, sending kids home mid-March until further notice. Employees now faced working at home, often with their families, full-time.  Our customers and partners all faced similar challenges and needed help in responding quickly to the crisis.    

 Three years earlier, we recognized the need to support a growing mobile workforce and we made the investment to make laptops standardissue for all employees. This financial investment was hard to make at the time but supported our core strategy. We had also been migrating to a fully operable Microsoft Teams environment, meaning that modern collaboration technology was already embedded in our culture. 

 This strategy paid off when we decided to test our all remote work capabilities on March 12, having all 2,000 employees work remotely on a single day. The test went well, as expected knowing our employees had the access and tools to work effectively. This gave us the green light to have our entire workforce fully remote by March 16. By coincidence, March 12 the government of Ontario (where Softchoice is headquartered and a majority of employees are located) announced that all schools would be closed for 2 weeks beyond the March Break. By this time, similar closures were happening across North America.Many of our people would now be challenged to work from home, often alongside other household members on a full-time basis. 

“Guided by our culture and values - taking care of each other and putting our people first – and supported by the crisis plans we had in place allowed us to swiftly enact full remote work effective March 16th until schools would be able to re-open,” says Karen Scott, the SVP of People & Growth at Softchoice.

We also implemented personal hours, 3 one-hour blocks per day to allow our employees to take time for themselves and their families and adapt to an unfamiliar new work from home environment. 

Taking care of each other also meant taking care of our customers who were going through the same things. We needed to ensure that the organizations we work with had the technology and the services to support their own efforts to mobilize remote workforce capabilities. This was brought to life by our Rapid Response Services a suite of turn-key services designed to address the most immediate requirements organizations faced as they sought to enable remote work and stabilize their operations in a virtual environment.   

Our employee communication strategy was another key pillar supporting our move to all remote work. Regular, transparent, and centralized communications kept employees informed and helped address some of the anxiety of the situation.  

Adjusting to the New Normal 

Remote work was once considered a perk. Now many workers will be outside the office indefinitely. Adapting to the future of work begins with removing the barriers between physical and digital workplace along with a change of mindset.Many businesses paused hiring and recruiting in the new allvirtual world,and all remote work presented new challenges to employee engagement and emotional well-being. 

Putting our people first, we adopted the mindset that people can be equally productive while working remotely. We used the opportunity to challenge ourselves to deliver great recruiting and new employee onboarding experiences. We continue to recruit by hosting our interviews via Microsoft Teams and onboard new hires by sending technology and welcome packages to their homes,  ensuring safe delivery and acceptance of these orders. 

It’s been tough for some of those employees who live alone and are isolated, or others who are overwhelmed by having their work and family life meld together. We made a deliberate effort to bring employees together by dialing up our employee engagement activities – virtual coaching, virtual after-hours events such as comedy and talent shows, wine tastings and a few children activities focused on our employees with young children. 

Rethinking the Future of Work    

There are still many unknowns:What will “back to school” look like in the fall?How will new health regulations for indoor spaces/gatherings strain existing workspaces? As COVID-19 infections rise in some parts of North America and a proven vaccine is still a long way off, we know there will be continued uncertainty amongst our people our customers, our partners and the communities we serve. 

For the moment, we have extended our remote work timeline to October. At the end of the day, our priority is and will always be keeping our people safe.  We are planning a concept space in one of our sites in Toronto to test the notion of bringing people together physically in a way that helps them collaborate as well as remain safe in a controlled environment. Once we have these results, we will evaluate and determine how best to expand and re-open other locations. 

Our Future of Work Group continues to contemplate the changes affecting how we work, show up, and be there for our customers.  The world around us is changing, technology is changing and people are changing. How we work in the future will change, too, but the things got us here, our Softchoice values, will remain the same. 

 As we progress on the road to recovery and new best practices and learning emerge, we invite you to explore our Business Continuity solutions and resources. 

Creating Opportunities for Women in Tech

In 1989, Jone Panavas founded Softchoice along with David Holgate to make it easier for businesses to source and acquire hardtofind software products. Jone and David set out to make Softchoice a different kind of company from the very beginning, one where inclusiveness was a core teneand employees were encouraged to bring their authentic selves to work.  

While the technology landscape has become far more complex in the last 30 years, another challenge it still faces is a shortage of female talent. “Less than 20% of tech sales positions are held by women- even fewer if you’re a woman of color. — The Women in Tech Sales Bootcamp.

Guided by Our Values 

We continue to follow the core principles of our founders to help us overcome these challenges today. Among our values are being human and inspiring and having customer passion. These inform our selection criteria when we’re seeking new talent and are the same we use to recognize great performance in our existing team. The annual Jone Panavas Award recognizes employees who  embody our values and are the go-to teammates,  the people who demonstrate outstanding personal leadership and customer passion. 

We’re Still Trying to Get it Right 

We’re not where we want to be just yet, but Softchoice is committed to reaching gender equality across the organization, building a new generation of female leadership and bringing fresh perspectives on technology and innovation to the people we serve.  

At the heart of our efforts to develop women into tech is the Leading Women committee, an employee-led group focused on building an inclusive community of women across Softchoice This effort comes to life through mentorships with senior Softchoice leaders, unique training opportunities for female employees and purposeful recruitment and retention of top female talent.  

“The objective of the Softchoice Leading Women Committee is to build a community where people are aware and educated about bias and are focused on driving change.  As a direct result of the current protests around the globe, people are demanding equality and the time is now for women to take our seat at the table and demand equality for all, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity.” – Renee Bradford, Leading Women Committee Chair 

 We are also proud supporters of the Women in Tech Sales Bootcamp. As this year’s platinum sponsor, we’re united behind the goal of connecting top employers with diverse talent. This industry-vetted, 5-day intensive training program helps match women who want to pursue or advance their skills in tech sales with employers. On average, 80% of graduates find employment within in 30 days of completing the program. Softchoice has hired 9 graduates of the Women in Tech Bootcamp in the past 2 years. 

 “Although the numbers are improving, there’s still a big gap for women in sales, especially tech sales. Add to that the fact that I’m a recent immigrant to the country, and I had a typical case of self-doubt and job-search-jitters; which is why, applying and getting selected for WITS was one of the best career decisions I’ve made so far.” – Chantelle Menezes, Softchoice Sales Support Trainee 

 With our commitment to Women in Tech combined with competitive parental benefits, workplace flexibility and our diversity and inclusion efforts, we’re laying the foundation for a new generation of women in technology, today. 

 Learn More About Softchoice Women In Tech 

 

Follow Softchoice Cares in Cebu City, Philippines

For two weeks in 2018, the Softchoice Cares Board embarked on an international project to build a computer lab in Cebu, Philippines. Below is a day-by-day recap of their journey and experiences. To read a quick overview of the project, click here.

Feb. 26: A rock star’s welcome in Cebu!

By: Kathleen D’Sylva

Today was our first day in Cebu City, Philippines. Oh, what a start!

Upon our arrival at the Camp 7 National High School, we were greeted by 800 cheering students waving their handmade Canadian flags. We were each gifted handmade pendants, and then individually escorted through the crowd to the guest of honor section at the front of the assembly.

Once the cheering had subsided, we were entertained by incredibly talented students performing a variety of traditional, pop, and hip-hop songs and dances. Despite the fact that they were the entertainers, we were the ones that felt like rock stars, and we loved every second of it!

As we got to know some of the children, we found out that it is not uncommon for them to walk up to one hour each way to get to school each day. Additionally, mudslides are a real concern. Their impact is visible, as every few hundred meters the road we came in on is reduced to one lane. The other lane is filled with debris from recent slides. Often during the rainy season, the children do not go to school at all. The risk of being buried or swept away is just too extreme.

The students are excited to be receiving laptops, but I think they are just as excited to meet new people from a different country and culture, chat with us, and take selfies to commemorate the moment.

I’m really looking forward to our time here!

Feb. 27: A fresh perspective

By: David Wagner

Whether I’m at home or at our local Softchoice office, I take such pride in my daily motion of PowerPoint decks, strategic business discussions, and tasks that if not completed may slowly begin to unravel my world.

Saying that sounds a bit silly. I know that won’t actually happen, and yet I continue to wake up day after day and begin striving for my next “win.” Whether that’s being the top sales team for the month or to get a promotion at Softchoice, I push forward just the same. I actually believe that my worth has more to do with winning and what I accumulate before I retire. Whatever that means.

Today was different. I’m surrounded by people who I’ve known for several years from all across North America, and each of them are experts in their Softchoice roles. Today, I saw a sales executive from New York using a sledgehammer to demolish a tile bench. I also saw one of our channel partner leaders entertain a group of students with magic tricks. Every one of us stripped down to our most natural being.

It took just two days here in Cebu to look at this world differently. Nineteen people coming together to represent a corporation of many with the same mission of helping someone less fortunate. My hands are sore, my back is tired and my heart is full.

Feb. 28: Now we know, and knowing is half the battle!

By: Peter Jones

The sun rises on the third day of our international project. Despite how physically sore we may feel from yesterday, it seems everyone made it to breakfast an hour before we’re set to depart for the school – each individual re-energized and reflecting on what was accomplished the previous day.

During our introduction at the Camp 7 National High School, I was told most students will refer to us as “Joe,” which is a reference to G.I. Joe and a result of the U.S. military presence here years ago. Yesterday, as I walked down the steps to the school and was greeted by various students, I realized how many were now calling me “Peter” instead of “Joe.” Although we’ve only been here for 48 hours, I’m amazed at how connected we are with the students. Each of their faces are becoming more familiar and we’re already on a first name basis with many.

Although both days so far have been special in their own way, today we’re especially excited as we’re preparing a lunch to serve to 400 elementary students.

As the day approached noon, a long line of excited and hungry students formed. We served Lugaw, which is a Filipino chicken and rice-based soup. The kids are going crazy for it! After the students were served, I grabbed a bowl for myself and sat down with a group of students. We chatted about their favorite school subjects, and what sports they play. Basketball was the clear winner.

Often times when I’m at work, I have a habit of just eating lunch at my desk. As I chatted with these kids, who are loving every minute of the Lugaw, I was reminded of how important it is to take a second every now and then to appreciate the moment.

We’re incredibly fortunate to lead the lives we do in North America, and to witness the genuine happiness that a simple lunch can bring these students is something I’ll carry with me for a long time.

March 1: Let the games begin!

By: Ross Thornton

The fourth day of work for the project had a bit of a different start. Something that made us feel as though we were 7-feet tall and should have our own shoe lines.

Well before you think we abandoned the trip to join the NBA, you’re incorrect. Instead we arrived to a paparazzi style crowd of kids ages 5-18 for the game of the century: The Cebu varsity basketball team vs. the Softchoice basketball team.

So, you have to ask yourself, the Softchoice basketball team? Do we even have one of those? Well, after today, playing against a highly skilled group of varsity boys, one can assume the talented group of IT professionals from Softchoice will NOT be filling taking up the sport professionally any time soon.

Once the game came to a close, however, and the Softchoice team was able to catch its breath and limp off the court, we we’re surrounded by a grove of screaming fans from Camp 7 School. Our faces hurt from the megawatt smiles we had for countless selfies. These kids loved cheering for their school, but as a member of the losing team, we were treated as though we were LeBron James, himself.

Once we got back to the project work, our NBA all-star fans and the celebrity experience propelled us through our workday. Even as we were wrapping up, and having our evening group discussion, we as a board didn’t discuss the work itself, but more how we see these kids like they’re the celebrities in our lives.

The way they’ve impacted our lives in four short days, we talk about them like they’re the all-stars, or the athlete on the cover of ESPN. They’re constant happiness and love of life makes this all worth it. The Softchoice squad are going to be life-long fans of theirs. We’re the cheering crowd and routing for each and every kid that Softchoice Cares comes into contact with.

In the game of life, as we navigate our own teams up and down the court, it’s nice to take into consideration the “plays” others around the world are making. The simple skills in basketball are key to anyone’s success in life. The fundamentals of the game are simple. Be kind, try to find simple happiness, and realize the small moments in life can be the greatest plays – to do your best at the game of life.

March 2: One week down, one to go

By: Nicholas Young

Our first week has come to a close in Cebu. This voyage has been rewarding in being completely entrenched in the Cebu culture, and also physically demanding in the labor work of improving this community’s technological future.

In hopes of helping our Softchoice family and friends to understand the time we have spent in Cebu, I wanted to provide a brief overview of the work we’ve accomplished thus far. We have focused our time on three key projects:

  1. Configuration of technical infrastructure: The team dedicated to configuring the technical infrastructure for the students have worked in a temporary lab in while construction continues in the final building. Each of the 25 Lenovo computers were set up with focus learning applications (OpenOffice, Chrome, Scratch) and security software (Sophos) ensuring sustainability of the project. This was done with an emphasis of instilling best practice procedures for both student and teacher profiles.
  2. Reconstruction of permanent computer lab: While the temporary lab was in progress, another team focused on the construction of the permanent computer lab. This required demolition of the existing eroding roof, retrofitting windows for security, and improving the bathroom facilities. The team dedicated to the project spent many hours ensuring the longevity of the learning environment.
  3. Renovation of student assembly area: The student assembly space is used for many school events: morning announcements, pledge of allegiance, and other cultural presentations. This is the same assembly area the Softchoice team was greeted earlier this week. The goal of the renovation is to provide a space for the students that will further meet their daily wants and needs. One of the improvements include a functional basketball court, which will help the school prepare for its next match against the Softchoice international basketball team!

While blood, sweat and tears have poured into our daily tasks of this endeavor, the inclusion we have felt in this community is overwhelming. I have never in my life felt so revered by complete strangers. Many of the teachers and students understand and appreciate why we are here, but a majority simply cherish an unprecedented opportunity to spend time with and learn from strangers from the other side of the world.

My life will be forever changed by this experience. I can’t wait to see what the future has to bring to these amazing people.

March 5: What a difference a weekend can make

By: Chris Plouffe

After one week at the Camp 7 School, our Softchoice team was able to put away our shovels, hammers, drills, and filthy clothes for a weekend in the city. It was a nice break for our bodies as my hands are now no longer bruised and swollen and my back hurts much less. It was also a chance for us as Softchoice employees to get to know each other a bit better outside of the working environment.

For me, there is no better way to get to know people than over a meal, since the dinner table is a sacred place to share stories, opinions, feelings, and most importantly, food! For those that know me, I enjoy eating (sometimes to my own detriment), and I especially enjoy trying new foods in a different country that I likely won’t get to eat anywhere else. Fortunately enough we have had some great cooks at our hotel in the province that have treated us to some outstanding Filipino food…but there were still a couple of dishes on my list (like lechon and halo-halo), and I knew I would get these in the city. First stop was Rico’s Lechon, which specializes in…you guessed it, LECHON! Lechon is essentially a full pig that is roasted on a spit and they pull off big chunks of meat depending on how much you want (for those wondering we went with a one kilo plate for three even though it was recommended for five-six people). We coupled that with some shrimps and a delicious soup called sinigang. After dinner, it was then time for dessert. To find the best halo-halo, we were recommended a fast food restaurant called Chow King. This was to be my first halo-halo, and I had no idea what to expect since it is made with a scoop of purple yam ice cream on top of shaved ice with evaporated milk, jellies, fruits, nuts and even some beans mixed in below. I could not have been more impressed with how delicious it was. I will definitely be going back for both these dishes at the next opportunity.

As for the conversations around the dinner table, one thing kept coming back, which was how much and how often we kept thinking back to the kids at the school. By now, we each have a few different kids that hover around us at any given time and with whom we share stories, pictures and even secret handshakes. When we were able to go to a grocery store, the first thing I thought of was to get some snacks to share with the kids. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one with the idea. We knew that one of the girls at the school LOVED Harry Potter but had only read the first book over and over as it was the only book of the series available at the school. As they came across a bookstore in the city, some of our Softchoice employees went and found four out of the six remaining books from the series and donated them to the school so that the kids can learn what happens to Harry and his friends at Hogwarts.

As we wrap up the first day of our second week here in Cebu, we can start to see the end approaching. Friendships have been forged not just between us Softchoicers, but with the kids, who just seem to brighten up whenever they see us, and it will be very sad to say goodbye when that time comes. However, tonight is the final night of 13 for the Fiesta of San Pedro and the street party at the church next door is ready to get started!

March 6: Salamat from the students

By: Alex Lee

The week before we departed for the Philippines, Softchoice Cares (SCCares) learned that many of the classrooms at Camp 7 lacked basic school supplies. Some examples of these are teachers sharing chalk between classes, and many students lacking anything to hold their homework to and from school. Knowing something needed to be done, SCCares launched an internal campaign to raise money for both student and teacher school supplies.

Fast forward to this week. In conjunction with the Rise Above Foundation and a local school supply store, we were able to use the money raised to invest in a plastic envelope case and a pack of one dozen pencils, eraser, and pencil sharpener for each of all 1000 students. Additionally, chalk, red pens, crayons, tape, chalk erasers and school paper were purchased for each classroom. We even had enough left over to buy the school a fresh basketball hoop for the new cement platform being built this week. Even the owner of the school supply shop thought we had our numbers wrong!

To say the teachers and students were surprised would be an understatement. Although this may seem like a simple act of kindness in North America, the students and teachers were beyond thankful. The Principal later shared with us that in the 11 years she has been with the school, not once has anyone donated school supplies. One of the girls was so excited, she sharpened all 12 of her pencils right then and there.

To any Softchoice employee reading this blog, know that your generosity has moved and inspired the students and teachers of Camp 7 High School. None of this would be possible without each and every one of you. Your monetary donations have gone a long way to enhance their classroom experience.

Lastly, I’ll share with you this beautiful drawing one of the students made for us today. It shows students and Softchoice employees embracing each other as they look into the Cebu Mountains and it reads “Together we can make a difference.”

March 8: Teaching Camp 7 students how to code

By: Attique Ajmal

The international project is just one of many initiatives the Softchoice Cares Board gets to work on, but it is arguably the most life-changing.

A week ago, after a long flight and a 90-minute drive into the mountains neighboring Cebu to a place called Minglanilla, we got to meet the students, teachers and staff at Camp 7 National High School. And what an adventure it has been since we first met them.

Whether it is building the computer lab, working on the school’s basketball court, setting up laptops or mentoring students, each day brings a new incredible experience. The people here are phenomenal. I’ve particularly enjoyed spending time with local people and learn from other humanitarians in the area.

Today, I got to spend some time with the kids teaching them how to code with a program called Scratch. You should have seen the look on their faces when they created an ‘animee’—an animation by making a cat dance using basic coding!

As I am dreading our departure on Friday, I cannot stress how inspiring this experience has been.

March 9: Signing off from Cebu

By: the Softchoice Cares Board

The 2018 Softchoice Cares Board international project to Cebu is officially wrapped. Our team of 18 arrived at Camp 7 High School with the goal of carrying out Softchoice’s vision “to create better communities through technology.”

We are proud to report that, after our two weeks in the country, we completed our work to double the size of the school’s events pavilion and install a new computer lab – with 25 Lenovo laptops that have the potential to forever change these students’ lives.

It was our lives, however, that may have been impacted the most. The students and teachers at Camp 7 inspired us with their welcoming spirit, positive attitude and community pride.

A project of this scale takes many people to make it successful. With that in mind, the Softchoice Cares Board would like to thank the following:

  • The Softchoice executive leadership team for believing in us and making this entire project possible. Your support was inspirational and we thank you for it!
  • All Softchoice employees for your support. Simply put, this project does not happen without each and every one of you. You allowed us to focus on the task at hand in Cebu, and we will always be grateful.
  • Joshua Molsberry and Developing World Connecting for your leadership, non-stop encouragement, and your friendship. You made this project a great experience for our entire team!
  • The Rise Above Foundation for your patience with our on-the-job training! By the end of the project, the entire Board all became experts at mixing concrete! We were honored to work alongside your team.
  • Craig Taylor and Lenovo for once again sponsoring the Softchoice Cares international project with your technology donation. Having you on the project added greatly to our team.
  • Sophos for supporting the project with the end point and access point solutions.
  • All of our families and friends for your support and encouragement, which motivated us every moment of every day. Thank you for all that you did to make the project a reality!
  • And finally, to the Camp 7 High School students and teachers – from the celebratory welcoming event to our tearful goodbyes – you made every minute of the project special. You are all incredibly talented, smart, and enthusiastic learners. We are so very proud of you, and look forward to seeing you accomplish your dreams in the years to come. We already miss you!

During Principal Nova’s speech at our farewell event, she officially declared Softchoice a part of the Camp 7 extended family. Her words brought many tears, as we realized our work had made an impact far greater than physical facilities and technology.

We had truly connected with them, and they with us. Together we created a community that spans halfway around the world, and that is a bond that will not be broken. To quote the chorus from the first song the students taught us, “We Love Cebu,” and we always will.

Sincerely,

The Softchoice Cares Board

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Softchoice Cares in India: Follow their Journey

From Oct. 8-22, 2016, the Softchoice Cares board is volunteering in Rajasthan, India with Jatan Sansthan. The team will be working to update two computer labs that Softchoice Cares built last year, and train locals from the community, particularly kids, on how to use them – among many adventures. Check this blog post for regular updates on their daily experiences, and follow their journey on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. [Read more…]