As IT professionals, it’s your job to provide help, support, and technical guidance to the organizations you serve. This is the nature of your chosen profession. Volunteering your time, expertise, and experience, and backing it up with financial donations to help our nation’s youth is a show of faith in our country and our children’s future.
Boston SIM (Society for Information Management), the Boston chapter of a national IT executive management organization, is a group providing this type of charitable support. Like all organizations, they can’t be all things to all people; therefore, they have concentrated their efforts into programs that contribute to the vitality of the Information Technology profession, especially programs that focus on future IT workers.
Tech Boston Academy and Year Up are two examples of SIM-supported programs designed to help inner city youth that might not have access to career opportunities in technology. The Tech Boston Academy is a Boston Public School for Technology & College Preparation. Year Up’s mission is to provide urban youth with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.
Over the past year Boston SIM has increased its focus on initiatives that support and inspire young students’ interest in and pursuit of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) subjects.
Three STEM education initiatives currently being supported by Boston SIM are
1. STREAM, a STEM education teacher workshop designed to give middle and high school teachers innovative classroom tools and concepts for engaging students in STEM learning 2. Citizen Schools, with a growing emphasis on mathematic, has been re-imagining the learning day to bring more time, more talented adults, and more relevant learning experiences to middle-school students in low-income neighborhoods. 3. DIGITS, a middle school program opening minds to math and science
Boston SIM has adopted its STEM education supportive role with the recognition that STEM learning is the foundation upon which future careers in Information Technology are built. As Information Technology (IT) executives, Boston SIM members truly understand the personal value of a career within a technology oriented discipline and its positive effect to the local community, the State of Massachusetts, and the future competitiveness of our country in the world economy.
The reason I’m telling you about the wonderful volunteer work being done by Boston SIM is because I’m hoping that this story inspires you and the technical organizations where you participate to do the same.
My goal here is not to tell you specifically where to volunteer your time or donate your money. Rather, my goal is simply to suggest that you follow Boston SIM’s example, as a technical professional, a member of a technical association, or just as a concerned citizen, and volunteer your time and/or money to an organization that you feel is worthwhile.
When trying to select how and where to donate your time and money, consider asking yourself questions such as:
• What type of non-profit/charitable organization resonates with me personally? • What age and type of people would I like to help? • What skills, expertise, and experience can I provide to others? • Am I interested in mentoring individuals, working on events, or providing a needed service? • How can I get the professional association I belong to become involved in volunteerism? • What can I do to help the world?
I would like to end by saying I applaud Boston SIM for their emphasis on giving to the community and ask you to do the same. Upon doing so, not only will it be of great value to those you helped, but it will also give your professional association meaning beyond its technical vocation, and maybe even help you experience the incredible feeling of giving to others.
Boston SIM can be found at www.BostonSIM.org.
If you have any questions about your career in IT, please email me at eric@ManagerMechanics.com or find me on Twitter at @EricPBloom.
Until next time, work hard, work smart, and continue to grow.
Read more of Eric Bloom's Your IT Career blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Eric on Twitter at @EricPBloom. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.