Blog Post by Kate Morgan
Last Friday on CNN, SAP CMO, Jonathan Becher and TV personality and Wall Street executive, turned non-profit CEO Alexis Glick announced SAP’s new three-year partnership with the GENYOUth Foundation (you may know them from their flagship program with the NFL and National Dairy Council, Fuel Up to Play 60 which is in 73,000 schools across the United States). This partnership is at the exciting intersection of SAP being the technology leader in sports, and SAP’s Corporate Social Responsibility focus on entrepreneurship around the globe.
The $3 million, three year partnership will support youth GENYOUth’s AdVenture Capital program which is offered to students participating in Fuel Up to Play 60. By applying the principles of entrepreneurial investment to the challenge of school wellness, young people participating in AdVenture Capital are empowered to identify solutions, “pitch” their ideas for potential funding and implementation, and develop life-long skills of leadership, communication and commitment to service. “Supporting young entrepreneurs is at the core of our vision to make the world run better and improve people’s lives,” said SAP CEO, Bill McDermott.
Last week I was able to meet the AdVenture Capital student finalists in New York. These students have brilliant ideas, from creating healthy family cooking nights, to building family fitness trails, to grab and go healthy breakfast stations at their schools. Though most don’t have a driver’s license yet they are ready to drive change in their community, and this innovative spirit SAP can get behind.
SAP will not only provide funding, but also find ways to engage our talented employees with students. SAP’s own Denise Broady, Senior Vice President, Customer Value Office, sat down on Wednesday with the student finalists, TV cooking personality and owner of Alchemy cookies, Carla Hall and Alexis Glick to tell their stories of overcoming adversity and to give advice to the young entrepreneurs. The students shared their fears of: ‘What if no-one comes?’ ‘And what if people hate it?’ to brainstorming ideas of how to make their programs more fun through gamification. Denise’s poignant advice, “don’t let people tell you that because it hasn’t happened yet, it can’t happen in the future,” hit home when she shared her story of immigrating to the US from Vietnam, and living in a tent for nine months. I could not have been more proud to be a colleague of such a driven professional. These three powerful women instilled confidence and energy in this group of inspired youth, to take home to their communities.
Friday we all braved the below freezing temperatures to check out the SAP Stats Zone on Super Bowl Blvd. The students had a chance to learn about what happens behind the scenes. Through exploring the technology firsthand, students saw how SAP is changing the way we view sports and enhance the fan experience. Throughout the Zone, you could hear ‘Oh cool!’ and ‘I want to try that one!’
I am energized by this partnership and agree with Alexis Glick when she says, “SAP and GENYOUth aim to develop the next generation of leaders and citizen philanthropists, empower the workforce of our future and drive social entrepreneurship to more than 38 million students across America.” On their flights home, these students will be writing journal entries about their time in New York and as one of their new supporters, we can only hope that they see what we see in them, the next GENeration of leaders.