By: Paul Segalini, Founding Member of Cisco Conexion Latino Giving Circle and Latinos in Tech Giving Circle
The Golden State Warriors are back in the NBA finals for the 4th year in a row! Their mantra of “Strength in Numbers” reminds me of our Cisco Conexion Latino Giving Circle. All of our members realize that we can accomplish so much more as a group than by doing things alone. More importantly, we have shared the same goal of wanting to make a difference in our Latino community.
I have been a member of Conexion, Cisco’s Latino Employee Resource Group (“ERG”), for the past 12 years. A key pillar of what we do at Conexion is to give back to our community. After being part of LCF’s Latinos in Tech Giving Circle, it made complete sense to bring the model to our ERG, since the priorities are so similar. A company’s Latino ERG is an untapped pool of talent and potential members for a thriving Latino Giving Circle. To advance the people powered philanthropic movement, I think we can tap into the power of existing ERGs. The one I helped launch at Cisco is no longer a pilot, it’s working.
Our Conexion Giving Circle just completed our first round of grantmaking, and I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. We went through the grantmaking process and have collectively picked 3 worthwhile Latino-led organizations that will truly make a difference in our community, and are aligned with our goals as a circle.
The organizations we funded include:
Alum Rock Educational Foundation— $10,500 to build the STEM pipeline for Latino youth in East San Jose through project-based learning that creates connections, builds creative confidence, and inspires them to work toward college and careers.
Kids’ Vision– $5,300 to build the STEM pipeline for Latina girls in East San Jose by exposure, education, and inspiration through hands-on learning and experiences.
Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley—$7,000 to support the Family College Success Center that ensures Latino youth and families in East San Jose are college bound.
I have learned that there is great strength in numbers, especially when you have shared values. If you’re inspired to join our movement or to start a Giving Circle within your existing ERG, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We must lead and fund the change we want to see in our community.
Grantees: Alum Rock Educational Foundation, Kids’ Vision and Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley