Time, skills and service: Pluralsight One’s commitment to volunteering in action
When we launched Pluralsight One in 2017, we also joined Pledge 1%, a global movement designed to create a new future of business where companies use their diverse resources to create social impact. Part of our commitment involves a contribution of time through direct service and skills-based volunteerism.
Our team members have now logged over 600 hours of volunteer time, demonstrating our company-wide commitment to creating positive change for local and global communities. Here are just a few of the projects Pluralsight team members have participated in over the past six months in our home state of Utah.
Bringing new opportunities to The Other Side Academy
The Other Side Academy (TOSA) is focused on helping people who have been through the criminal justice system develop skills they need to rebuild their lives. Our legal team spent time volunteering at TOSA meeting with students and learning about their experiences. One student expressed “People like you don’t usually talk to people like us.” It was a heartbreaking reminder of the value of TOSA’s work, and helped our team see the legal system through others’ eyes.
TOSA also needed help getting their on-site thrift store ready for business, so members of our product team grabbed their gloves and went to work contributing a week’s worth of man-hours to help the store get up and running. One member of our team shared, “What they’re building is literally saving lives and I feel so honored to have been able to be a tiny part of it.” Proceeds from the thrift store fund TOSA’s ability to take on new program participants, creating a virtuous cycle of impact.
Putting down strong roots with the International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps refugees and immigrants thrive in their new lives in America through a variety or programs and educational opportunities. The IRC’s Digital Inclusion program is focused on helping program participants overcome barriers like digital illiteracy and financial codependency. In partnership with Pluralsight One, the IRC launched its inaugural Women’s Tech Workshop where Pluralsight team members volunteered to help teach computer basics and share helpful applications like Google Maps with women refugees who are looking to technology to navigate their new community and access critical community resources.
In addition to the Digital Inclusion program, the IRC also teaches farming skills through its initiative called New Roots. To prepare for the upcoming season, members of our support and strategy teams readied plots in a community garden. As a result, dozens of refugees from Sudan, South Sudan, Burma, Somalia and Burundi now have the opportunity to grow healthy food for their families and sell their produce at local farmers markets as a source of additional income.
Supporting the growth of Computer Science education in Utah
One of the fundamental steps required to change the future of computer science education in Utah is identifying gaps, opportunities and barriers to inclusion through data analysis. The Utah Board of Education’s team sought help to create dynamic and comprehensive data visualizations. Enter Pluralsight consultant Stephen Nychka, who is working alongside the Board of Education’s team to create visualizations that display important data stories. These visualizations will help inform solutions to inclusion challenges as the team structures courses and strategies statewide.
Pluralsight team members are also having an impact at the classroom level. Underrepresented students can face barriers to participation in computer science due to the cost of exam fees and hardware. When educator Nicole Reitz-Larsen launched a new AP Computer Science Principles course at West High School in Salt Lake City, there were plenty of Pluralsight technologists willing to lend support. Many volunteered to guest lecture throughout the semester, and team member donations ended up covering 90% of test fees for students who were unable to cover the cost of the AP exam. The impact of these small efforts was significant: completion of the AP exam by Nicole’s class alone has more than quadrupled many of the statewide diversity statistics in computer science .
Creating change through volunteerism
These stories demonstrate our mission to democratize technology skills. Volunteering and meaningful skills transfer help build deep human connection, and this connection is at the core of helping communities be seen, supported and empowered. As Pluralsight One continues to grow and more volunteers are activated through its local and global communities, we will achieve incredible, lasting impact at scale.
Learn more about our latest initiatives at PluralsightOne.org.