Partners in Change – Bay Area Companies Celebrate the Holidays by Supporting SRA!

A significant part of the college-to-career journey for SRA students is developing the skills and experience necessary to excel in the professional world upon graduation. SRA provides various trainings and skill-building workshops, as well as professional advising, career exposure and networking events, internship placements, and a career mentor program.  

SRA is grateful for the many companies and organizations in the Bay Area who support us in this mission. Throughout the year, our many corporate partners support our students in various ways, like offering valuable internships opportunities or hosting on-site “Career Insight” events.  

During the 2018 Holiday season, there was an outpouring of support that SRA received from our partners, who opted to go above and beyond the ways in which they and their employees already support our students.   

For example, eager to help SRA celebrate our 20th Anniversary as an organization, Autodesk generously hosted an event in their incredible Gallery space in late November. SRA donors, volunteers and alumni marveled at the larger than life photos of SRA students projected on many of the gallery walls and left inspired after hearing from Autodesk’s Danny Guillory, Head of Global Diversity & Inclusion, along with SRA Board member, Stephen Jon Thompson, as they participated in a panel discussion about the future of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, led by SRA Co-founder, Wendy Tokuda.

Autodesk has been a committed partner in our work, with 2 SRA students having benefited from an internship at Autodesk, and 4 alumni are current Autodesk employees. Guillory shared that “My experience with the students has been truly inspiring; the only barriers to their success are resources and connections, as they already have a resilience that far exceeds that of most people. The benefits that corporate partners gain from SRA include tangible business outcomes as well as a deep level of employee engagement. Having a direct impact on students’ lives is a truly profound way to participate in our community — and one that resonates with everyone at Autodesk.”

As the holidays grew near, companies and organizations even included SRA into their holiday celebrations. As a part of DocuSign’s Global Impact Day, employees came together to write notes of encouragement to SRA students. Along with the gift cards for coffee, SRA students felt extra supported going into their final exams! Excited to help their colleagues burn off those extra holiday treats, Equinix’s University Recruiting team organized a holiday event at Soulcycle in San Mateo, which also doubled as a fundraiser for SRA! Equinix employees, including Charles Meyers, Equinix CEO riding front and center, laughed, cheered, and sweat during the 45-minute ride, raising over $7,000.  

The event organizers, including Aman Musafar, Sheba Asghar, Chelsea Morton-Jones and Madison Butler, explained that “We’re so excited about our new partnership with Students Rising Above. SRA is truly committed to seeing their students succeed and we’ve seen that through our partnership already. SRA has been so easy to work with and their students have already provided tremendous value through their internships with us. With SRA’s commitment to their students and to our partnership it was a no brainer that we wanted SRA to be the beneficiary of our fundraiser.”

Equinix University organized a holiday event at Soulcycle in San Mateo, which also doubled as a fundraiser, raising over $7,000 for Students Rising Above!

Products that Count, one of the largest networks of product managers in the world, also included SRA in their holiday party. At Yelp HQ, the party included a cookie decorating and guest speaker Jon Lax, Director Product Design, Facebook.  At the end of the evening, Products the Count Founder, SC Moatti, announced a $5,000 donation to SRA (presented in the form of a 3 ft. check!) and even challenged guests to donate themselves by offering to match dollar-for-dollar for a donation.

Left: At Yelp Headquarters, Students Rising Above students, alumni, and staff enjoyed a festive evening in support of SRA, hosted by Products That Count. Right: Products That Count Founder, SC Moatti, presented SRA with $5,000 donation, with Jen Naecker, Students Rising Above Director of Development.

Holiday cheer was still in the air when Wells Fargo generously shared their downtown San Francisco training center to host SRA’s Career Development workshop. On Saturday, December 22, when many have already departed on holiday travel, over 30 volunteers from more than 25 companies supported over 90 SRA students with interview tips and tricks.  

Finally, thrilled to be able to surprise students home for the holiday break, Warriors Community Foundation, philanthropic arm of the Golden State Warriors, truly made memories for students and advisors alike with 35 lower bowl tickets, a VIP tour of the arena, and exclusive shoot around experience for the December 27th  game against the Portland Trailblazers.

Hosted by the Warriors Community Foundation, SRA students, alumni and advisors enjoyed a VIP tour and exclusive shoot around experience for the Warriors vs. Portland Trailblazers game on December 27th.

SRA Advisor, Amy Niles, recounts “The Warriors Community Foundation meant that we were able to surprise our students and celebrate another semester completed by experiencing a VIP tour and a nail biter of a basketball game! We all had so much fun and it was a great way for our students to feel that they have a community of support that goes beyond SRA!”

Together with SRA, Bay Area companies are making a profound impact on the lives of underserved youth in our community, while creating a more engaging and fulfilling place of work for their employees.  

Our ability to support every SRA student depends on the commitment we receive from our partners. When a community invests in the next generation, the returns are priceless. To all our corporate partners and career development volunteers – THANK YOU and Happy New Year!  

Please reach out to [email protected] to discuss partnership opportunities.