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Sustainability & CSR

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"What did you sacrifice to be here today?”, asked Lain Hensley of Odyssey Teams to our group of around 150 SAP Academy Associates in Palo Alto. The gym, going out to dinner, and preparing for our Friday demos were some answers from the group. It wasn't until later that we learned this sacrifice was actually an investment.


Our big project for the day came with vague instructions. We grouped into 40 teams to build a prototype for a customer present. Without knowing exactly what we were building or who we would be presenting to, we collected our respective boxes numbered 1 through 40. Once we started to remove components from the box we realized that we would be assembling bikes. During the build, my team discovered that we didn't have all the tools for the job. This forced us to approach other teams, check their progress, and swap tools and advice on certain assemblies. In those moments, 40 individual teams were converted into a single network of partners.




Once all the bikes were assembled, Lain regrouped the audience. He asked if we were ready to present to our customers. Still a bit frazzled from the builds, we collected ourselves and prepared for the reveal. He then welcomed our customers into the room. A row of students from St. Elizabeth Seton School walked into the room. The students, ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade, came from low-income families in East Palo Alto. There was no end to their excitement when they found out that the new bikes were for them.

Looking around the room, I was brought back to when I got my first bike. At that age, it isn’t about the bells and whistles. It’s about the ultimate source of freedom. I am glad that we worked through our complex task to give them that gift.



Once the room settled and the students left with their new bikes, Lain asked his question again, “What did you sacrifice to be here today?” Before we could answer his question, another question appeared in a keynote, “What was your ROI?” This was the moment that we realized our sacrifices. Our time that day was an investment that provided deserving students with something they would never forget.

As the event wrapped up, we were all asked to write a reflection on the day. I wrote down the simple message that I received that day: “Regardless of the complexities or frustrations that come out of the task at hand, always put forth your best work. Your efforts can change someone’s life.”

In October, SAP volunteers moved in on Next Move Sacramento as part of Month of Service.


I was thrilled to be the volunteer ambassador for this event in my town of Sacramento, and even happier to see the number of volunteers we enlisted, not only from SAP, but also from one of our key customers at the State of California – the Department of Water Resources.

Next Move Sacramento’s helps homeless people find self-sufficiency. They are unique in Sacramento as the only shelter that takes families. Their services include providing individual success plans, self-sufficiency workshops and groups on living skills, parenting, budgeting, housing, health and mental health care, housing relocation assistance, employment readiness and community support services. Next Move’s shelters, temporary housing and permanent housing, bolstered by an ever-growing list of services, continue to make visible and measurable changes in people’s lives.

Next Move Sacramento.jpg

Our group of volunteers built an outdoor chalkboard with shade structure, a covered and fenced-in sandbox, and several ground-beautifying structures[SS1] .

This was a great opportunity to make an immediate and visible difference to a space used by people everyday, offering them a better experience. Working through the day outdoors also helped us come together as a team that would not be possible in office space.


Everyone is already talking about how they look forward to contributing in next year’s Day of Service in Sacramento!

SAP was invited to talk to students taking part in the BEAM program. This is a program that teaches students how mathematics applies in the real world through business applications at Gunn High School in Palo Alto. 


I didn’t hesitate for a moment to grab this opportunity to go back to school and meet the bright minds of Palo Alto GUNN High School.


Later I realized it’s been more than 15 years since I completed my high school. So I didn’t know what would resonate well with Generation Z (Post-Millennials). I decided to place my bet on sports.  


As students were interested in understanding how to analyze data to make good business decisions, I decided to show some of the work we did with the San Francisco 49ers Football Team.




I explained to the group how SAP helped General Manager and Scouts of SF 49ers to efficiently assess and compare players with the help of analytics.  I also met with the CEO, CFO & CMO of BEAM program. They were all students of GUNN high school. I was amazed to see that BEAM has put in a corporate structure for the program to allow students to learn entrepreneurship. 


A student wrote to me later expressing interest in analytics and statistics. The student wants to pursue a career in sports and asked if its ok to email questions about sports analytics. This made me smile as I realized sharing knowledge could inspire people. 


If you share your property or wealth with someone, your net value diminishes.  But, if you share knowledge with someone, knowledge gets multiplied.


Thank you SAP for fostering the culture of giving back to the community.



Santosh Kikkeri

Wake up with a purpose

Posted by Santosh Kikkeri Nov 22, 2015

I spend most Fridays wrapping up my work for the week and planning what to do on the weekend.


Oct 30th wasn’t just another Friday.  I met 18 cheerful SAP Silicon Valley volunteers who were super charged to give something back to the community. I had worked with few of them virtually before but never got an opportunity to meet them in person. It always helps to put a face to the name. 


Family Emergency Shelter Coalition (FESCO) was in great need of creating new storage and cleaning and organizing their existing storage space in Hayward, CA.  Scott & Jonny from the non-profit organization, HandsOn Bay Area helped us to put together a project for FESCO. I was privileged to coordinate this volunteering project as part of Month of Service at SAP.


SAP Volunteers.jpg


Scott did a quick kickoff with the volunteers at 9:00 AM and explained what all we could do over three hours. We split into three work groups.


  • 1st group took charge of cleaning and organizing garage space and building a 4-shelf storage. 
  • 2nd group helped in cleaning and organizing inventory in two storage units.
  • 3rd group helped in moving some heavy stuff, cleaning, and organizing storage units 



FESCO was really happy to see the clean and organized spaces. We were successful in taking a big weight off their shoulders so they could focus their time on helping clients.


All of us were delighted to know that our work made a big difference to FESCO. Thank you SAP for this opportunity to relish the joy of giving back to the community.


I had read this quote a while back “sleep with a dream and wake up with a purpose”. It felt really happy to accomplish my purpose with a day of service.

My daily routine usually involves responding to emails, drinking coffee, attending meetings, working on projects, and more. While we make a difference in the business world daily, my team decided to dedicate a day to helping our local community.


During SAP’s Month of Service, the Silicon Valley Innovation Center team woke up early and volunteered at a playground build for the East Palo Alto Charter School. Partnering with the non-profit group KaBOOM!, we came to this school at full force with over 300 SAP and Adobe volunteers. We worked with several playground components, mulch, and more to create a space for children to enjoy. The pressure was on and the volunteers were determined to finish by the six-hour deadline.


We were all excited for this build but were slowed down with some obstacles. With missing parts and uneven holes, we were not sure if we would be able to complete the job. Some motivation came from the groups of children cheering us on. Their faces would light up when new parts of the playground were assembled. Determined to finish, the volunteers worked together and got the job done right down to the wire.

Our work included painting murals, organizing the gym closet, building a garden, adding mulch, and assembling play sets. The opening ceremony included the ribbon cutting and a celebration with the schoolchildren. It is truly amazing what our team can accomplish together, whether it may be working on a customer project or just helping the community for a day.




“What excites me most is that we created something that the school children will enjoy for a very long time.” - Dinesh Reddy


“A truly inspiring Month of Service project. The joy and happiness of those kids seeing the finished playground was absolutely priceless. Volunteers are paid in six figures - S-M-I-L-E-S!.” - Cecilia Alvarez


"Producing" a playground in just one day is very different from the outcomes we produce daily at work. The pure joy the kids expressed on seeing their playground go up was the best feedback imaginable. It made everyone work even harder to meet the deadline, thus showing the value of instant "customer" feedback.” - Anja Bog


“Creating something that others can benefit from and enjoy is very fulfilling experience.” - Peter Weigt

What skills do I need to make my experience shine?  How can I better articulate my value to an organization leveraging the experience I have today? 


These are just a few of the questions that SAP volunteers helped answer at a career development session with participants from the Stride Center, a non-profit organization that helps people gain the skills and experience for jobs in technology.


The participants came to the SAP Dublin campus with eyes and minds open to understand the skills they need to join a technology company. We conducted 1:1 mock interviews where SAP volunteers from many areas of the organization (HR, marketing, M&A, development, and sales) helped students articulate their elevator pitch, craft their resumes to highlight results over skills, and help them define their tremendous strengths. 


While the goal of the day was to benefit the students, SAP volunteers also learned. We were reminded that we never know when conversations in our daily work-life could lead to new opportunities, and we should approach them with confidence and put our best selves forward. At an organization like SAP where change is continuous and there are many growth possibilities, it’s key to keep learning. Each day is a learning experience, and especially at an organization like SAP, where change is continuous, it’s key to continue to keep learning.  In addition, we were reminded how important it is to brand ourselves well and articulate our strengths and successes in results based ways.  For example, instead of saying in a resume that one “helps with a feasibility study”, it’s more important to state the results of the study. This can be done by highlighting how it led to the opening of a new manufacturing facility in China, monetary savings, etc. We also helped the students articulate the value they bring, which is always more than their current skills and knowledge. One of the participants described himself simply as an IT professional, but had done far more in helping three companies save money by consolidating IT systems.

We helped the participant understand and articulate his capability for problem solving and project management.

Helping others see their potential and reach their goals is tremendously satisfying. I too gained as much from the experience and was reminded of the importance to keep learning to be ready for the next exciting opportunity.  The day was summed up nicely by Leyla Ghaffari, the Corporate Project Leader from HandsOn Bay Area "This event was a wonderful learning opportunity for the Stride students. They were able to receive invaluable feedback on their resumes and interviewing skills from SAP employees. It's wonderful to see SAP employees engage in these type of events and be a part of building a well-integrated community." Through this engagement, we were all able to learn how to shine in our careers, as both coaches and lifelong students.

SAP is truly an amazing company. Yes, we help the world run better – 74% of the world's transaction revenue touches an SAP system – but we also improve people’s lives. SAP encourages and supports employee volunteerism year-round.


We partner with many different Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to create positive social change around the world by volunteering in our local communities. Every year SAP employees volunteer for more than 200 thousand hours in 47 different countries. However, our signature volunteering initiative is in October – our so-called Month of Service.


This year, we in SAP Silicon Valley (SAPsv) decided to up our commitment and shoot for 100% participation from every employee during Month of Service. While we didn’t quite make that goal, we substantially increased participation – completing 108 projects, nearly double any previous year! In fact, SAPsv volunteered 7,253 hours of service in October, accounting for about 1/3 of participation across North America.


While I am proud of what we were able to achieve in just a few weeks, it’s the stories behind the numbers that really matter. Stories of people finding meaningful ways to give back, getting their colleagues involved, and making a lasting difference in communities.


Years ago, my colleague Roger Quinlan initiated a partnership with Adobe to build playgrounds for disadvantaged schools. This year, an all-time record 300 volunteers from Adobe and SAP worked hand-in-hand to create our eighth playground.



For the first time in Silicon Valley, SAP partnered with City Year to support their goal to dramatically increase graduation rates in high poverty communities. Our work at Ocala Middle School in San José built on 10 years of supporting City Year on the East Coast, especially in the Philadelphia area. In fact, City Year named SAP's CEO, Bill McDermott, their Man of the Year for his longstanding commitment to the program.


Ocala Bill.jpg


Since employees can’t always make it to offsite locations, we also host a variety of projects onsite at SAP buildings. For the last few years, I’ve hosted Foundation for Hospital Art, an afternoon of painting murals to brighten hospital walls. I’m not much of an artist, but luckily my colleagues forgive my inability to paint inside the lines.




SAP’s employee-driven affinity groups also rallied their members to make a difference. Continuing their work for community fundraising, the seven-year strong SAPsv Cycling Club helped launch a ride to support veterans. Similarly, the Pride Group, Latinos@SAP, and Business Women’s Network led youth programs to expose young minds to career possibilities in technology.


For me, these stories strengthen my belief in the possibilities to make a unique and meaningful impact that goes beyond work at SAP. I’d like to thank my colleagues who remind us of these opportunities with their outstanding contributions, and congratulate SAPsv for the unprecedented success achieved with teamwork this Month of Service.

SAP held another successful youth Hackathon with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) on Saturday, November 5th


We had 65 kids from 6 local high schools attend, along with 35 mentors (20 from SAP).


The kids were split into teams of 3-4 and assigned a mentor.  The team was then asked to develop a mobile application in the areas of Sports (preventing sports injuries) or Health (reducing student stress or improving student nutrition). 


We also took time to teach the kids some design thinking principles, focusing on customer centricity, which helped them create some innovative applications.


The winning team created an application to provide healthier lunch choices to high school students, by offering a mobile app that allowed kids to personalize their lunch choices by choosing from a range of healthy-only items. 


SAP has been involved with NFTE for the past 4 years, sponsoring hackathons, tech challenges and design thinking sessions.  SAP has partnered with NFTE, because we share a common goal, which is to provide low-income kids the opportunity to participate and excel in the digital economy, particularly in Silicon Valley.


Here is a video link that captures the essence of the day.


Hackathon Video


If you would like to learn more about NFTE, please click the following link




Despite the chilly temperatures descending on the Bay Area like an autumn veil, spirits were high among our group of volunteers earlier this month, ready to spread the warming light within.

As part of SAP’s Month of Service, employees worked with the non-profit organization Stop Hunger Now, to prepare food packages to be sent to underprivileged schoolchildren in the Philippines.

A modest food cafeteria on the SAP Palo Alto campus was transformed into a packaging hall with five food stations in total. At every station, 5-10 volunteers worked together in harmonious collaboration to layer soy protein, dried vegetables, rice, and essential nutrients into a plastic bag that was then sealed air tight and transferred to a final station where all food bags found their place in a cardboard box.


After merely one hour and thirty minutes, the group of volunteers managed to fill and package over 10,000 meals for schools, which was the goal for the day. Brilliant group work and determined spirits not only contributed to team bonding, but also served a greater cause.

With boxes full of packaged food and hearts full of love and compassion, SAP employees left work this day knowing they had made a difference.

Month of Service was GREAT this year! SAP Silicon Valley exceeded last year’s numbers significantly, and I believe there were many reasons for this:

  1. There were notifications and opportunities coming from all sides, such as CSR and the volunteer ambassadors (of which I am one), the Silicon Valley engagement team and the SV ambassadors, the affinity groups, and executives.
  2. The wide variety of opportunities, times, and locations made it easy for employees and their friends and families to participate in multiple opportunities.
  3. There was a high level of desire by team managers to use Month of Service for team building activities.

In my case, I participated in two projects and led two others.

  1. The Pride@SAP group hosted about a dozen Latino college-aged youth from the Palo Alto-based Outlet LGBT support program to come to campus and learn about SAP, Pride, and our campus. This activity was led by one of our newer Pride members who became a volunteer ambassador. The feedback from the attendees was overwhelmingly positive, and I believe we had some influence on their lives.
  2. The Pride group also went to YouthSpace, a San Jose-based LGBT support center, to paint their facility and build shelving for their materials and equipment. They have a lovely space that we beautified with paint, shelving, and furniture donated by SAP. CSR even provided a grant to the organization that they can use for programming and supplies.
  3. I led an open event for all employees in which we helped out at the SF-Marin Food Bank in San Francisco. That evening was oatmeal packaging night. Our group of 19 volunteers, which made up about a third of the overall volunteer workforce that night, took oatmeal that was in large sacks and, in assembly line fashion, measured the food into one-pound pouches that we then sealed and labeled. In this size, the oatmeal could be easily distributed to, and then consumed by, families in need. This project was not only fulfilling, but fun, and was a great opportunity for employees from across Silicon Valley to meet each other. While there was one small team from GCO within our group, the rest of us came from across the company and its campuses in Silicon Valley. I recruited for this event by e-mailing my contacts, creating and posting a short recruitment video, and generally talking it up. But I actually think most of the sign-ups came from people seeing the opportunity on Benevity.
  4. Finally, I led an event as a team-building activity for my team, the Silicon Valley-based folks on Penny Valencia’s Global Audience Marketing Team. With the help of Rob Glickman who had a prior relationship with the organization, we participated in meal serving at Glide, a non-profit human services organization in San Francisco that serves 2,100 meals per day to the homeless and others less fortunate than us. The 19 of us who attended made up the bulk of the crew serving dinner one evening. We also learned about the mission and management of Glide, and left impressed by what they are able to do for the community. The irony of living in one of the wealthiest areas of the country but seeing such a large population not benefitting from the current “gold rush” is striking.

I thoroughly enjoyed participating in this year’s Month of Service and being part of four activities that generated around 130 people-hours of service. I am thankful that SAP provides us time and resources to give to the community, with the by-products of team building, camaraderie, and socialization among our local area colleagues, friends, and family. I will use my experience this year to encourage more good work from colleagues throughout the year, and of course I am already looking forward to next year’s Month of Service. And if you're interested in learning about the opportunity to become a volunteer ambassador, please let me know!

By Ameka Kosmala


How much do you like surprises at work? Delayed project meetings or another deadline pushed forward are not happy surprises.

On Monday, October 26,  there was another type of surprise in store for us. The entire student body at the SAP Academy in Dublin, California, had the privilege of heading to the West coast HQ, the Palo Alto office, for a surprise volunteering event.

The four-hour afternoon started off with team building activities where we got to know our peers better, as well as activities to challenge our current state of mind. While reading this, cross your arms like normal. Now cross them in the opposite direction. While it may feel uncomfortable, the message is clear, going against our instinct is hard, but change and thinking differently are possible. I loved it.

The pinnacle of the afternoon was the challenge to build a bike from scratch in the short time of an hour. When the clock struck five, I was a little lost. I questioned how this, while great motivation and team building, was related to community service and volunteering. Like all great surprises, this one lingered on the edge of confusion and distraction.


Suddenly, in single file, from youngest to oldest, a group of 38 kindergartners and elementary school students were ushered into the room. The bikes were for the kids***. I had never done something like this before and was overwhelmed seeing the kids’ faces light up with excitement. I had done some volunteer work in the past, but none that delivered such happiness to someone. What a fantastic way to show how change and challenge can lead to joy and happiness for yourself and others. Thanks SAP.


***(The handover of bikes was symbolic. The bikes had to go through a rigorous inspection by an expert before the kids could take them home!)

Volunteering is an important part of my life. My family has been dedicated to promoting education and we have been volunteering over the last seven years with First LEGO League (FLL) Robotics, an organization that mentors young people in science and technology.

FLL’s mission is to introduce younger students to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based roots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface.
Past Challenges have been based on topics such as nanotechnology, climate, quality of life for people with disabilities, and transportation. Through the project, students discover exciting career possibilities in these areas and learn to make positive contributions to society.

This year, my oldest daughter is the lead coach for a student team at an East Palo Alto school. I help her coach the team twice a week.
Working with a school in East Palo Alto is an eye-opening experience. The students have the same enthusiasm to learn as my kids, but many of them don’t have the same access to technology. Most don’t have computers at home. The technology that we take for granted is not a part of their lives outside of the classroom. Participating in an FLL program helps the students learn about STEM subjects through fun and hands-on activities.



I have volunteered at the school in East Palo Alto for the past four years. It’s amazing to see the impact of the FLL robotics program. The students learn about STEM subjects, leadership, presentation skills, and gain confidence. I’ve also helped introduce the robotics activities as part of the Girl Scout of North California program. Seeing the difference that we can make as volunteers, I feel even more passionate about the mission to introduce young minds to science and technology. Please contact me if you’re interested in learning more about FLL or bringing STEM to your community.


When I first arrive in Sandton area in Johannesburg, it just feeling like a normal city in China (Shanghai or Dalian) in its rapid developing.  Nice buildings, modern shopping malls, fancy cars on the road... Less air pollution but very still dusty as constructions are ongoing here and there.




While not far away from the modern city, townships looks totally different with millions of people still living in those shabby houses. People may need to walk over hours to walk in the morning.


People and cultures are more complicated. 11 official languages itself indicating different traditions and origins. The grouping of "black", "white", "colored", and "Indian" by the infamous Apartheid formed more stereotypes. Scientists and witch doctors are having their power of influence at same time among different groups which accompanied with great conflicts and even high risks.




In such a diverse environment, NGOs are actually playing important roles on helping people improve their lives from all aspects where educational system and government cannot cover. Different NGO are doing different things: building toilets in townships, taking care of HIV orphans within townships, developing youth leadership and providing incubation system for entrepreneurs etc… All these are really contributing not only to the individuals but also to the social stability.


The NGO we went to called loveLife. Their programs engage with 1.5 million young people annually and give young people a sense of purpose.

Since 2000, loveLife is helping young people (12-19 years old and 20-25 years old) from HIV awareness, education and inspiration for healthy living to the holistic Youth leadership development for social change. They also have contact center / radio stations / magazines / mobile apps to reach young peoples and even parents. 90% awareness of loveLife among young people.


In China, there are also similar ideas of life education for children. Because of the one child policy and culture, such training are delivered all by parents themselves (e.g. Story Mommies to get children aware of themselves and their relationship with people, environments via stories on picture books for primary school children). I myself is actually also trying hard to be a certified “Story Dad” so I can go to my child’s class to tell the stories and grow the children.


One special thing in loveLife is that they are actually training Young people, the groundBreakers (18-25 years old) and mpintshis (younger friends to groundBreakers) to educate younger people (12-18) through all kinds of programs. This is really amazing as it gives more attractive programs than the dumb looking dad like me to the younger ones (esp. on those sensitive topics difficult to talk with parents). On the same time, it is also a great opportunity for groundBreakers and mpintshis to develop their leadership skills.


When talking to the groundBreakers and mpintshis, I did feel that their energy and passion are so overwhelming which inspired me to be a passionate “Story Dad” as well.





Like any other countries which has a later start in the telecommunication infrastructure, mobile phones are dominating South Africa. In general, Android devices are much more than Apples due to the significant price differences. Samsung ads are occupying Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport.



Smartphone with 3G/4G access is everywhere in the city. However, in the rural area, the devices are pretty bad and internet access is also poor.

At the Youth center of loveLife in Orange Farm, a place where the young peoples can safely play and learn, there is no electric power as people from community keep stealing it. The diesel generator provides electric power twice a day for young peoples to learn basic computer skills using those Stone Age machines.



Responding to the huge difference in infrastructure, most apps are actually just mobile-friendly websites designed for viewable on those low end phones and low bandwidth users.

The digitalization in companies still have huge rooms for improvement. Because the low labor cost, it is said even many global companies (manufactory, mining etc.) are running processes designed for manual works. Short of IT personnel is a big issue; companies do like cloud based solutions to reduce the effort of maintenance. Huge gaps in computer literacy among a company making the changing process particularly difficult. Competency and capacity gaps could become the key obstacle for introducing a new software. “Easy to use” would be also one of the most important key for a successful digitalization.



Amazing Africa!

Just like elephant’s ears and my steak


Social Sabbatical was really a “phenomenal” experience. Look forward to meet all my friends again and to revisit South Africa sometime soon!

SAP and Adobe have been partners for eight years in building playgrounds for schools in the Silicon Valley. I have been a part of every build, and it never grows old for me. The schools where we work are short on resources, but not short on passion for their students. When we combine our desire to serve our community, with the schools’ endeavor to improve the situation, we have a homerun. In just one day, we are able to make a tangible difference to the schools, and that’s what makes the KaBOOM! playground project unique.


This year, we worked at the East Palo Alto Charter School during SAP’s Month of Service. The project was one our largest yet, with with more than 300 SAPsv volunteers working together to transform a 6,000 sq. ft area into a space for kids to have fun, be creative, and stay active.


With tons of work to be done in a day, these projects were a great opportunity for team building. We had a group from SAPsv that worked together to move 302 cubic yards of engineered wood fiber (mulch). By the end of the day, they were covered in dirt and were tired, but had a great time working together, while getting to know each other a little better. It’s gratifying to know that so many people find as much joy in this event as I do.


It’s a fast-moving and exciting day with everyone working together to ensure we have a playground ready for the kids. It takes teamwork and collaboration. When facing a hurdle, we find a way to overcome it. On this build, we had an issue with one of the welded plates on the core supporting structure that was misaligned by a few degrees, so we could not get all four safety bolts into the structure. This could have brought the project to a standstill until a new part was delivered. Instead, a few SAP engineers came up with a creative and safe alternative that got us back on track and saved the day.


The playground build is truly a team effort. On this project, the 300-strong volunteer team painted asphalt games, assembled playground equipment, created murals, planted a community garden, and built garden furniture. Each year, we are able to take on larger projects and accomplish more with the support of our friends at Adobe. We plan the project together over a few months and come together as one team when we get out there on the build day.


After 15 gallons of paint, 300 bags of concrete, and nine hours of work, we were ready to present the finish product to the schoolchildren. It was wonderful to see them so excited about their new playground. This will be their space to enjoy, learn, and be active everyday. I would like to thank the #SAPvolunteers and our longtime partners Adobe and KaBOOM! for helping transform another school with a new playground. Eight down and many more to go!

The HR team volunteered during Month of Service at KIPP Prize Preparatory Academy. KIPP is a free, open-enrollment, public charter school in San Jose, California. 46% of the students are English language learners and 88% qualify for free and reduced-price meals. The school principal shared with us that she would like to create an environment for her students that’s just as nice as other better funded schools.

20151009_124351 (00000002).jpg

It was our job to add color to the school campus. We painted dull-colored doors with more upbeat colors and added the school value symbols on classroom doors. We also painted a large mural with the school mantra to work hard and be nice.


The highlight for me was when the kids shared that they liked the new look of the school. One young boy said to me, “You are such a good artist. It looks beautiful,” which made my day. Another student commented how much better the school was looking and thanked me. I felt that I made a difference and am proud that SAP supports volunteer work and beautification projects at schools with less resources.

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We had a great time as a team and are ready to go back to paint more colorful happy walls.  


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