International Youth Day 2016: How Intel Continues to Empower Youth

Photo Credit: Intel Corporation

Today marks the 16th year of the UN’s International Youth Day, passed by the UN General Assembly in 1999 to emphasize young people’s views and initiatives from around the world. This year’s theme, “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production,” highlights the critical need of youth leadership and participation in achieving multiple objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including ending poverty, ensuring sustainable production and consumption patterns, among others.

Paramount to ensuring that youth participate in the global dialogue about these critical issues is providing them with the necessary skills and platform to act. GBC-Education founding member Intel illustrates how businesses, specifically, are filling this need for youth through utilizing one of their core business assets: technology and innovation.

Intel’s She Will Connect program, for example, is empowering women in Sub-Saharan Africa. High school girls in Nairobi, Kenya, received the training and tools to develop mobile apps that benefit their communities. Through this program and their dedicated teacher, students like Carolyn Wambui and her classmates were able to develop an app that matched organ donors with patients who needed transplants. Other women have built businesses and connected other women in their communities to economic opportunity.

Intel also collaborated to design computer science, programming, and robotics curriculum for the Women in Science (WiSci) camp. The WiSci camp, a three-week summer program developed by Intel, the U.S. Department of State, and several other partners works to empower girls to pursue and thrive in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and design, and mathematics)-related fields, one of the fastest growing and best paying in today’s global economy. There are, however, disproportionately fewer women in these fields than men, and those women who are in these fields are less likely to hold leadership roles. To remedy this disparity, WiSci creates a space in which girls — last year from 9 African countries and the U.S., and this year from Latin America and the U.S. — can learn STEAM and leadership skills that will best set them up for a future as leaders in STEAM-related fields.

In addition, Intel is partnering with NITI Aayog, India’s Federal Planning Agency, to develop the first 10 of a future 500 Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) in the country as part of their vision to cultivate innovation skills in one million children across India. By providing youth with tools and equipment, Intel and NITI Aayog aim to foster inventiveness and equip participants with the skills needed to participate in the digital economy.

“Technology is changing our world. At Intel, we are committed to ensure this change is positive and accessible for all.” says Rosalind Hudnell, GBC-Education Advisory Board member, and Vice President of Human Resources, Director of Corporate Affairs, and President of the Intel Foundation. “Our collective success—especially where we empower youth achievement—is critical for our best possible future.”

Hudnell’s statement is further underscored by Intel’s initiative to deliver tech education to Navajo Nation students in the U.S., the Next Generation of Native American Coders. This program, developed in partnership with other organizations, not only pays homage to the rich history of the Navajo Nation’s role in WWII as code talkers, but also introduces the students to modern methods of coding through computer science and engineering.

By offering programs that allow for youth to develop their technology skills and leverage their passions by focusing on issues affecting their community, Intel demonstrates the power of business to empower youth in becoming productive, innovative members of the global workforce. With these experiences and skills in tow, youth have the ability necessary to meaningfully address the targets articulated in the SDGs.

On this International Youth Day, all businesses can empower youth and support their education and development. See additional examples of how this is done by businesses, or learn more by contacting us at [email protected].