As I reflect on the last 2.5 years of my journey leading Infosys Foundation USA, I feel an immense sense of pride and joy at what we have accomplished, not just through the foundation but also all of us collectively as people who care about computer science & maker education and the skills our children need to thrive in a digital world. During this incredible journey, which felt nothing short of being a startup, or a game changing movement, I have had the privilege and honor to meet and interact with some amazing people — thought leaders, policy makers, industry experts, researchers, volunteers, students and most importantly teachers. Teachers who are at the heart of this entire endeavor, not just ours but all of yours too. As we champion changes to our education system, let us all remind ourselves that this effort can only be successful if we have amazing teachers who want to break free from the known, and be open to the new, both new things to teach as well as new ways to teach. And we are lucky to have the support of so many inspiring teachers! I want to thank every single teacher out there for their passion and drive to make a difference to the future of their students and consequently to our world.
Today, I am writing this email to let you know that I have decided to move on from my role as the chairperson of Infosys Foundation USA. But as we know, a person’s passions are not bound by the entities that house us temporarily. And so no matter where I go, I am certain that I will continue to champion the same efforts that I have throughout this journey over the last 2.5+ years. From day 1, when I first articulated the mission of the foundation, I have received immense support from everyone involved. I am thankful for this opportunity to be able to contribute purposefully to our communities, and to Infosys for believing in these causes and so graciously funding and supporting these efforts. Entities, indeed, are made by the people within, and I am proud to say that the foundation’s work was delivered and amplified by some very passionate people, both from Infosys and outside: Kaustav, Bethany, Praveen, Amrita, Lauren, Becci, Claire, Whitney, Stephanie, and so many others. It has been an absolute delight working with each one of them and I am sure they will continue their amazing work. I also wanted to introduce you to our two new trustees who we appointed in July: Dr. Navin Budhiraja, and Dr. Alexander Gray (You can learn more about them here: http://www.infosys.org/infosys-foundation-usa/about/).
None of our work would be complete if it was not for the incredible work done by our grantees, and so many others in this space that we have had the pleasure of interacting with. You are all amazing! And, together we have achieved some wonderful results. Last week one of our team members reported (based on the impact numbers provided to us by our grantees) that in a short span of time we have impacted more than 12000+ teachers, 4.5+ Million students and 20000+ schools! Initiatives such as our teacher training events (delivered by grantees), InfyMaker awards and the #WhyIMake campaign, coding hackathons and bootcamps, and our thought leading Crossroads events, all contributed to advancing the cause. Our work has spanned all 50 states in the United States, and we have always emphasized inclusion and diversity, by focusing on students from many underrepresented groups.
While these are great numbers, we still have a long way to go. As the world around us changes dramatically, reshaped by technology, we must all continue and step up our efforts to prepare our students for this future. We must empower them with the right skills they need to be successful in this digital future and teach them how to be creators not just consumers of technology. And it all starts with the right education and the same access to this education. Education is the great equalizer, the vital driver for greater diversity, faster economic growth and the ultimate weapon that empowers us to face the unknown future and change it. As we all navigate through these very interesting times that we are living in, it is our collective sense of passion and purpose, fueled with a deep commitment to this cause, that will ensure that we empower our children to be amazing citizens of humanity.
So, as I have said before, lets all keep doing what we are doing for this great cause. And more. And better. And together. I know I will keep doing my part.
Wish you all the very best.