Since the start of the Salesforce-Oakland partnership three years ago, student enrollment in middle school Computer Science classes has grown by 2041%, with over 1,600 students enrolled annually. All 21 Oakland middle schools now offer Computer Science classes, up from zero in the 2015-16 school year.
One big factor in this success? Focused volunteer support by Salesforce staff in every Oakland middle school that deepens the company’s major financial investment toward the big goal of tripling the number of Oakland public school graduates who pursue a post-secondary degree in STEM fields over the next decade.
Through the Oakland Public Education Fund’s Adopt an Oakland School program, Salesforce volunteers have given hundreds of students at under-resourced middle schools new inspiration for their futures with relevant, hands-on experiences that open doors to STEM career paths.
Personal Connection Sets Salesforce Partnership Apart
Connecting personally with Salesforce volunteers has been a huge contributor to students’ increased interest in Computer Science—and nothing highlights that personal connection more than the celebration of Computer Science Education Week in Oakland schools.
Over 100 Salesforce employees volunteer each year to create unique CS Ed Week events that expose students at their adopted schools to the diversity of jobs and people who work in the sector, including:
- Career panels to learn about different paths to success and goal-setting
- Field trips to Salesforce to experience a day-in-the-life of an employee
- Trailhead programs designed to teach kids how to make their own applications
- Sessions where students present their design projects for authentic feedback
- Workshops on how to code spherical robots through a maze
Opportunities for All Students to Explore Tech Sector Careers
For students who may have felt that the tech jobs in their backyard were out of reach for them, Salesforce volunteer events provided a meaningful opportunity for exploration, whether they were just starting out or already further along the path.
For example, Claremont Middle School students who didn’t necessarily see themselves as future tech leaders were excited to receive support and feedback on their graphic design and yearbook projects from communications professionals at Salesforce. Students learned tips for how to effectively communicate their ideas, a skill that will take them far on any path!
Volunteers Bring Positive Energy to Oakland Schools
In addition to CS Ed Week, Salesforce volunteers offer year-round support to their adopted Oakland schools, from campus beautification to taco trucks for Teacher Appreciation Month. Woven throughout it all is the positive energy of attentive volunteers who take the time to collaborate with students and staff.
When students at adopted schools connect with caring adults who share their interests, they better understand how current learning connects to future opportunities—and ultimately become more motivated to succeed. By expanding what’s possible for Oakland students, Salesforce volunteers are expanding what’s possible for Oakland, the wider Bay Area, and the world beyond, for generations to come.
Want to join Salesforce in supporting Oakland public schools? Learn more about our Adopt an Oakland School program here.