Helping the Next Generation of Leaders: Box Gives Back to the Community

While we're a pretty busy bunch at Box, we think it's incredibly important to make time to give back to the community. In the past, our team has organized blood drives, Habitat for Humanity trips and food drives to give help to those who need it the most. At our most recent volunteer event, we visited local students to help foster Silicon Valley's next generation of leaders.

Along with HP, EMC, Cognizant, and Symantec, Box was a corporate technology sponsor for 6 Degrees of the Bay Area, a networking event for middle schools students to practice and learn fundamentals skills for job interviews.  The event was held at Cesar Chavez Academy in East Palo Alto, and organized by Citizen Schools, an organization that partners with middle schools to provide learning opportunities for children in low-income communities.

14 members of the Box team joined other volunteers from Bay Area companies to spend time networking with students, who were prepared with resumes outlining their academic coursework, apprenticeships, career aspirations and extracurricular activities. Everyone was excited to be there, and I was particularly impressed with how professional the students were; they were great at giving firm hand shakes and maintaining eye contact, and even sent hand written thank you notes as a follow-up to the event.

This was the second year we've volunteered with Citizen Schools, and I noticed some big differences from our visit a year ago. While many students aspired to be doctors or lawyers, I also met a few future entrepreneurs, too. Students who grow up in Silicon Valley are increasingly influenced by the success of tech startups, especially with the recent IPO's of companies like LinkedIn and Facebook.

Our team stressed the importance of learning as much as possible and doing well in school – after all, Silicon Valley is only getting more competitive as entrepreneurs from around the world move here to chase their startup dreams. We also talked about how working for a tech company can truly change the way the world does business, and explained what the cloud means for their future, no matter what that might be.

I'd like to extend a big thanks to all the Box employees who attended. All of us are looking forward to our next big Box outing in the community. For more information on volunteering with Citizen Schools in your community, please visit: