We love that Next Jumpers are so passionate about giving back to the communities in which they live and work. It’s something that we look for when we hire, and something deeply engrained in the company’s mission and ethos.
Charlie asked Next Jumpers across the company about one cause toward which they’d like to see our resources and efforts go, if they could only pick one. As you can see, many Next Jumpers have a passion for furthering education, and that’s been a major focus of recent efforts. (To state the obvious, it’s not by any means saying that other causes aren’t worthy of time and resources, and it was fantastic to see the variety of other causes that Next Jumpers care about.)
We’ve adopted a non-profit (She’s The First) that provides funding for girls’ education in developing countries. We’ve dedicated engineering resources to help:
So, what about Next Jumpers themselves? How do some of us as individuals dedicate our time to giving back to education? That’s what I set out to find out, and got a chance to speak in-depth to two of our Next Jumpers, John and Rajan, about their amazing personal involvement in education-centric causes.
John is a senior engineer in the Boston office who is working on a pilot program (starting this May) for Next Jumpers to teach local youth how to code.
Hao: What made you want to start this program?
John: The area where our office is an interesting mix of high poverty and also extremely successful businesses. There are a lot of people who walk around here but might never work for a company based here. Part of it is just getting more involved in the community, especially the younger folks. Coming from an area of strength, it’s a good opportunity to talk about code and engage directly with the community here.
H: When you think back to when you were younger, who influenced your love of technology?
J: Two people come to mind for me, both were friends of my mom. One of them gave me a computer, an Apple 2 Plus which was already really old even when I was little. But all you could do was program, you couldn’t do anything else, so when I was in 4th grade, I started using that computer to program in Basic. Another of my mom’s friends was a system administrator for my mom’s work, and I used to go down to his office and play around with computers and help put them together.
Hao: How did you first get involved with Theatre East?
Rajan: In 2006, I started working at a private equity fund, and two of the back-office employees – Judson and Krista Jones – and I would spend time talking to them, about acting, and then going to see their shows. They started their own acting company and they asked me to be a founding board member. And that was…almost ten years ago!
H: What has that experience meant for you?
R: The primary thing it does for me – seeing Jud and Krista at a show, acting and being on stage – was completely different. There was fire and life in them, so what the board and the company have been able to do is put theatre on for people who love theatre, people who put theatre together. Acting, stage managing, lighting, sound – everything that goes into creating a show. This is what these people are passionate about and what they want to do. So for my blood, sweat, and tears, my resources, to help people do that – in a city where it’s expensive to do that – for me to be able to help them create their dream and do what they want to do as a living.