Zovio, an education technology services company, announced a new corporate responsibility program focusing on Activating Ambition in all learners.
“Through this program, we hope to work with local and national organizations to provide financial support in education in communities that have been left behind in the traditional education system,” Jennifer Love Bruce, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility at Zovio, said. “We have two pillars which are providing learning opportunities beyond the classroom setting as well as opportunities for all.”
Zovio will use the “Opportunities for all” and “Learning beyond the classroom” pillars as a guide for which types of nonprofit organizations it will partner with and the employee volunteer events the company will sponsor.
The first nonprofit the company partnered with is Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates (JAG), which has a mission to help young people stay in school and acquire the academic, personal, leadership and vocational skills needed to be successful upon graduation. The nonprofit also partners with companies to give students a hands-on way to learn about different career paths.
“I think [JAG’s mission] fits really well with Zovio’s [corporate responsibility] program. We understand the life-changing impact that providing educational resources can have on individuals no matter their background, experiences or career goals,” Bruce said.
Recently, JAG held its annual “Opportunity Expo” where Zovio donated more than 8,700 school supplies to benefit JAG students.
“[Zovio] came to our staff meeting and showered our JAG coordinators with back-to-school gifts and supplies for all their students,” Nicole Porter, economic development communications manager for JAG, said. “It will help a lot. I know many teachers across the board spend straight out of their own wallets to provide items for their students.”
According to Porter and Bruce, providing supplies for students allows them to feel prepared and like others care about them and their education.
“Students need to feel prepared…. Not every family has the means to purchase all of that, especially to outfit their child for the whole year,” Porter said.
“When you see the students receiving the supplies, it makes them feel really good and they know that there are others that are cheering them on,” Bruce added. “That’s a really rewarding feeling when you see that students feel encouraged.”
According to Zovio, it has also rebranded its volunteer program, which makes it easy for employees to serve local nonprofits, as Z Crew. Over the past ten years, Zovio employees have spent more than 140,000 service hours volunteering.
The company will also be expanding the number of paid time off hours that are given to employees for volunteering from eight hours to sixteen hours each year.
“Our employees…are very engaged and very willing to help out,” Bruce said. “I think that this could be a very long partnership [with JAG], hopefully, a very successful partnership for many years to come.”