As an ambassador to Microsoft Windows I also find out about things the company is doing, other products, hardware, and even what they are doing to help out communities. Our youth are the future of our country and I believe we need to empower them to make good decisions, give them opportunities to learn, and help them try new things. Microsoft believes it’s vital that companies, nonprofits and governments work together to address the challenges facing youth today. The International Youth Foundation Opportunity for Action report, shows that nearly 75 million young people worldwide were unemployed in 2011 and The International Labour Organization’s latest statistics indicate that the current global youth unemployment rate, about double the adult rate, is projected to increase to 12.9 percent by 2017. It’s because of these global trends that Microsoft is taking action and refocusing its citizenship efforts around YouthSpark. See this video for a story of opportunity from a young woman named Adora who is helping to change the world, one student at a time.
Microsoft YouthSpark is a new global initiative which aims to create opportunities for 300 million youth in more than 100 countries in the next three years. The initiative encompasses new and enhanced programs that help young people obtain more opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship.
· YouthSpark marks a new focus for Microsoft’s philanthropy efforts. Microsoft will dedicate the majority of its cash contributions to nonprofits that serve youth and is announcing support for five new nonprofits: Boys & Girls Clubs of America, City Year, Junior Achievement USA, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and Year Up.
· Microsoft has also launched Give for Youth, a global micro-giving marketplace that allows anyone to donate to youth causes.
· Microsoft is also launching the YouthSpark Hub, an online space to access all of the youth services, programs and resources provided by Microsoft and its nonprofit partners.
I received this information as a Windows Champion.