Education provides foundational building blocks by which you can unlock potential and skills, and that leads to true problem solving — different angles and approaches that haven’t been invented before. Diversity of thought is also the great equalizer — it brings more people to the table and results in greater awareness, empathy, and positive impact.
This is why we created initiatives like Samsung Solve for Tomorrow, our global contest designed to boost interest and proficiency in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), by challenging youth to demonstrate how STEM solutions can help improve their local community and impact their surroundings. It’s also why we support and underwrite other educational programs that are important to our communities and critical for building a better future.
2. We listen to our employees to understand where we can create the most change in their communities. Environmental initiatives are top of mind.
Our giving at Samsung includes financial funding, in-kind support, and products and solutions that communities may need. Most importantly, we also have many colleagues who volunteer and participate in community service.
We are very intentional about our volunteering and community service. We listen closely to our employees to hear what they want to support and learn about local organizations that are at the tip of the spear for changing communities for the better.
Recently many of our employees have specifically identified local environment and sustainability initiatives. In New Jersey, where I’m based, I’d like to highlight two incredible organizations that we partner with often.
Riverkeeper is a non-profit that has been stewarding the protection of the New Jersey Meadowlands (the large ecosystem of wetlands also known as the Hackensack Meadowlands) for over two decades. Our Samsung Electronics America headquarters in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey is located within these wetlands. With the help of thousands of volunteers from New Jersey and beyond, Riverkeeper has collected tons of garbage, lobbied governments and companies for reform, and most importantly – educated New Jerseyans about the biodiversity of their local wetlands through fun river clean up days, paddling programs, nature walks, pontoon cruises, and more.
Since 2014 our team at Samsung Electronics America in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey has partnered with Hackensack Riverkeeper, an organization dedicated to cleaning up and protecting our local waterways and their surroundings.
On our Samsung Employee Day of Service we typically have a large group put on waders, paddle out in kayaks, and participate in a river clean up with the Riverkeepers. At the end of the day I’m always floored by just how much waste they all collect. Our colleagues always walk away having learned so much about our local ecosystems and how they need our help.
City Green is an urban farming and gardening organization based in Clifton, New Jersey. They work to revitalize urban areas through agriculture and educational programming, and offer practical, technical, and financial resources in support of environmental stewardship, equitable access to healthy food, and ecologically sustainable communities.
The team at City Green knows that many people have not grown up generationally with fresh food, or know how to cook, so everything they work on centers on addressing those knowledge gaps. They often teach people at farmers markets. They also bring bees, goats, and chickens to urban areas so that kids can learn about what a farm is without having to travel 20-30 miles outside of their city. We think that City Green employs so many out-of-the-box approaches to bring nature closer to home, and they have countless success stories to show for it.
In years past, Samsung employees have donated time working with City Green during Samsung’s Day of Service.
I’d love to share one of those success stories from a past Day of Service with you.
One of City Green’s most recent initiatives included having a school group of city kids plant carrots. Then, once it was time to harvest the carrots, the kids came back and they all gathered around the row of carrots that they had planted.
When the group leader picked the first carrot out of the ground, the class erupted in impromptu clapping like it was a magic trick.