Fourteen years ago, I was lucky to graduate from The International School of the Americas (ISA) in San Antonio, Texas. I often credit many of my personal favorite traits to lessons I learned while a student, and find it very difficult to relate my high school experience to many of my peers in the sense that I truly enjoyed my high school experience. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I learned the foundations of my professional personality, and fell in love with the world at the same time. Recently, I found myself back at my high school, playing the part of guest speaker.
ISA is a public, magnet high school that focuses on developing a student’s global understanding and global competence. Students are challenged to get outside of their comfort zone, and graduate truly knowing what the world has to offer. Graduates are of course college ready, but they have also practiced many real-life rolls as leaders, team members, and problem solvers in the community.
As a personal volunteer experience, I had the unique opportunity to travel back and speak to students in the Digital and Interactive Media class. I joined my former teacher Mitzi Moore’s class for a lesson plan honoring Hour of Code. Hour of Code is an international effort to encourage people to learn computer coding, and Mrs. Moore put some major effort into planning a week of coding experiences, capped off by my presentations about a career with a growing technology company.
The first day that I presented, I connected students via video chat with colleagues back in the office. We were joined by front-end developers, engineers, product designers and even our CEO, Matt Combs. They spoke about their daily responsibilities and why they enjoyed their jobs at YourCause, as well as their previous jobs and favorite projects. It was a way for them to inspire the future of our technology workforce with inspiring insights and advice about their careers.
Product Innovator Peter Black and Senior Software Architect Edward Adjei speaking with the second period class.
On the second day, we talked through the YourCause corporate structure, teaching them about some of the jobs that go into running our company. Students then took a turn at interviewing for a position at YourCause. They chose, or even invented, positions they would be interested in based on their talents and traits. It was a great way to tie everything together and involve the students. They shined bright, and it was very apparent they had digested the information from our two days together.
This experience had a big impact on me, especially at the end of one of the busiest years ever, both for YourCause and for myself professionally. I reveled in the fact that I had successfully found a company that represented so many of the same facets as ISA–facets of global thought, project focused teamwork, community involvement, and most of all, being responsible for our ‘book of business’. ISA’s method of curriculum really does work, and not only are there careers and companies that are truly a perfect fit – there are places you can work to change the world. Second to that, I thought about how lucky I am to be here. YourCause is fundamentally dedicated to doing global good, and sometimes that doesn’t have to mean processing millions of dollars to amazing nonprofit organizations. It can mean traveling a short distance to inspire young high school students at a school that you love and will continuously thank for your education.
Group photo with one of the awesome classes (all freshmen). These students will change the world – even the one that is looking backward!
If you are interested in learning more about what it’s like to work with YourCause check out our hiring page for more information and job descriptions. Come inspire the world with us!