Giving Back Feels Good—And Makes a Difference

CompTIA’s member groups donated $130,000 to help work programs for disadvantaged people, children with cancer, cybercrime victims and more.
Giving Back Feels Good—And Makes a Difference

When CompTIA’s regional communities, Industry Advisory Councils and the CompTIA ISAO Executive Steering Committee donated $130,000 earlier this year, a slew of charities and other organizations benefited—but so did potentially thousands of young students, work programs for disadvantaged people, children with cancer, cybercrime victims and more.

“It’s a great honor to provide each of our member groups with funds to give to the charity of their choosing. Each of them has its own mission and we’re proud to be able to help so many organizations that make a positive impact in their communities and markets,” said MJ Shoer, chief community officer at CompTIA.

The CompTIA North America Community made part of its donation to Ignite Worldwide because of it ties into the community’s goal to achieve gender equity within the IT industry, said Cynthia Mooney, enterprise global account manager at HP.

“The CompTIA giving program really matters to our community. And in this case, the money we gave to Ignite Worldwide really helped in terms of being able to support gender equity with young women and girls,” Mooney said. “Their focus is all around STEM, whether those are programs in the classroom or virtual. They're looking at ways that they can help young women and girls to understand our technology field. And that's why it mattered. It truly matters when CompTIA gives back to the community.”

The North America Community also chose to donate to Project Tomorrow, which develops programs to prepare students today to become future innovators, leaders, and engaged citizens.

“The goal of Project Tomorrow is to help our younger generation get the knowledge and expertise they need so that they can have a greater tomorrow and more opportunity in the future,” said Hannah O'Donnell, vice president of sales at GreatAmerica and member of the North America Community. “Community members are looking for a way to be able to give back to the greater good of the industry, share their knowledge, their talents, the resources, they have to help our next generation continue to grow and expand their knowledge. This is just another way for our community members to be able to do that.”

The CompTIA AI Industry Advisory Council decided to support i.c.stars, which helps inner-city young adults build business leadership and technology skills in order to help them launch tech careers, according to Dr. Mechie Nkengla, chief data strategist at Data Products and co-chair of the council.

“The AI Industry Advisory Council is aimed at advancing understanding and adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies among businesses. The council's mission includes education and advocacy, best practice and best practices and standards, market research and insights and promotion of ethical AI,” Nkengla said. “We chose i.c. stars because of its unwavering commitment to nurturing technology leadership, especially among underserved communities. Their vision aligns with our core values of inclusivity, empowerment and the transformative power of technology.”

The CompTIA DACH Community, representing Germany, Austria and Switzerland, chose to support Women in Tech, which helps women in the region find and grow their careers in tech. Currently, only 22% of tech workers in Europe are women, according to Güncem Campagna, president of Women in Tech.

Said Katrin Giza, the CompTIA DACH Community manager, “We decided to give the donation specifically to [Women in Tech] because this organization is active in the DACH region helping women progress their career, succeed in the IT field and doing everything they possibly can to help women be their best in the IT world,” Giza said. “It feels good to help other organizations who are trying to do good in the community and society, doing something meaningful, in this case helping women succeed in IT.”

The CompTIA UK & Ireland Community chose to make its donation to TeenTech, which helps disadvantaged young people understand technology and raise interest in possible tech careers, according to Hollie Whittles, information security and HR director at Purple Frog Systems and vice chair of the CompTIA UK&I Community.

“It's vital that we encourage those pathways from education through, into the IT sector. And this is a great way of supporting that initiative,” Whittle said. “The CompTIA giving program is really meaningful to members because we get to help shape the future and we get to choose the initiatives that are really going to make a difference to our economies.”

The CompTIA Benelux Community voted to donate this year to KiKa, which helps research childhood cancer in The Netherlands. It’s an organization very close to Benelux Community member Pierre Kleine Schaars, as it helped his then eight-year-old son who had acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

“Thank you [Benelux members], thank you CompTIA and thank you KiKa because my son survived and is cancer free,” Kleine Schaars said. “The CompTIA giving program is meaningful to members. I like the fact that it can be very broad, like helping people in India with computers, or it can be a very personal thing, like it was in my case. It’s really a donation that matters, and it’s significant and noble.”

The CompTIA Cybersecurity Industry Advisory Council chose The Innocent Lives Foundation for its annual gift, according to Joy Beland, vice president of partner strategy and cyber education at Summit 7 Systems, and member of the CompTIA Cybersecurity Industry Advisory Council.

“The Innocent Lives Foundation was selected because of the incredible work that they do and using OIN skills to determine the actual identities of child predators and sex traffickers. And they've been able to compile enough evidence to present 500 cases already to the FBI and law enforcement globally in order to disrupt and actually, find and prosecute these horrific people,” Beland said.

The CompTIA ANZ Community, representing Australia and New Zealand, have donated to Accelerating Aotearoa, which focuses on addressing inequalities affecting Māori and Pasifika people, enabling community-led economic development and conserving the environment.

“The donation helped the organization give contributions to volunteers supporting the community, operations which include a food hub for up to 4,000 locals monthly, and a clothing and homewares operation for up to 100 families each week,” said Rose Stammell, community manager for the CompTIA ANZ and ASEAN Communities.

The CompTIA ISAO chose The Cyber Helpline for its 2023 donation, according to Corey Kirkendoll, president and CEO of 5K Technical Services, a Plano, Texas-based MSP, and member of the CompTIA ISAO Executive Steering Committee.

“One of the things that we do by giving back is we continue to show by our level of engagement, that it’s important to give back to the community and those out there who are fighting cybercrime,” Kirkendoll said. “The Cyber Helpline is an organization that provides help and resources for people who are in need in the event of a cyberattack, or even help to prevent [an attack].”

The CompTIA ISAO Executive Steering Committee also donated a portion of its funds to Apps for Good, which provides free tech courses to schools in the UK, giving teachers ready-made educational content to help develop students’ skills, said Degly Mendez, CEO of Avanzar IT Systems and a member of the CompTIA ISAO.

“We believe Apps for Good aligns with many of our core values and is providing a path of education and empowerment in the tech industry to many young people, especially those who are marginalized,” said Mendez. “The CompTIA giving program allows us to support workforce initiatives and new career paths that are so valuable for a better future in underserved and underrepresented case.”.

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