Atlassian seeks to advance humanity through the power of software. While our products continue to further us down this road, the Atlassian Foundation takes the mission a step further with the addition of four words: The power of education. Believing deeply in this transformative power of education, the Foundation chooses to support initiatives with education at their core both globally and locally. One of our local San Francisco partnerships, Students Rising Above (SRA), has helped us achieve this vision while giving our employees a tangible avenue to live out one of our core company values, Be the change you seek. SRA is dedicated to impacting the future through the cultivation of extraordinary youth. Their model aims to break the poverty cycle through individual mentorship that guides a student from senior year of high school, to college graduation, and into the workforce. Our goals marry beautifully with those of SRA, allowing us to form an ever-strengthening partnership. Recently, we have reaffirmed our already established commitment to SRA through a $15k grant.
Imagine how much different your life path would have been without the people most supportive in your life; without the money for basic necessities; without the certainty of having a safe place to sleep at night. SRA students do not have to imagine a life like this, as most have spent their youth worrying about where their next meal would come from – rather than where they would attend college or apply for their first job. For these students, the dream of college was hazy at best; but with SRA’s support and guidance, college has become a wholly attainable experience. In fact, with its 98 percent college enrollment rate, and its 90 percent college completion rate, SRA has the highest success rate of any college support program in the country!
Our last grant helped SRA achieve milestones like increasing their class size from 65 to 100 students and maintaining their astounding college and graduation success rates. This new grant is earmarked to help make the students’ transition into the workforce just as fruitful. SRA has developed a College2Career Program to connect students with a community of professionals, and help cultivate the skills needed to climb the career ladder. In addition to our monetary support, Atlassian has contributed over 180 volunteer hours to SRA, mainly through biannual speed networking and job shadow sessions at our San Francisco office. During these workshops, students gain critical knowledge about navigating the job market, interviewing, time management, and workplace culture. Students report leaving feeling invigorated from learning about a new industry – and hopeful after hearing about the many non-traditional paths Atlassians have taken to get where they are today. Employees come away feeling inspired and humbled after chatting with SRA students. Atlassian specifically encourages volunteer efforts like these by granting each employee 5 days of paid leave to volunteer with a charity of their choice!
There are many ways to get involved if SRA sparks an interest in you. Whether you can take on the role of a social mentor, or your company can provide internships or networking opportunities, no level of involvement is too small. This is a great way to “pay it forward” by passing along life and career lessons as you help SRA accelerate positive change in our community and beyond. Sign up to be an SRA volunteer today!