Many of you probably haven’t heard of ServiceNow, but the odds are that the majority of you have used their services more times than you can count… You’re probably wondering how this could be possible if you have never even heard of this company? Well, ServiceNow is an American software company that develops a cloud computing platform to help companies manage digital workflows for enterprise operations. Let’s unpack that. In an interview with ServiceNow Chris Rogers, Senior Program Manager for diversity inclusion on the product engineering team, says it best:
“When you think about it, most people don’t touch our product. They touch it indirectly through a third party. Think about Disney+, the NBA, Under Armour, Nike, American Express – all these big companies are using ServiceNow software… Our job is to automate people’s processes… If you go online to Under Armour, and go to order a pair of black shoes, the moment you click the drop down button to deliver them to your house, that whole backend process is considered a workflow. That process is what ServiceNow does for companies on a large scale. We are a backend company ensuring that everything is safely sold.”Rogers, Chris. Interview. Conducted by Alex Mow, 1/20/2022.
Chris has been with ServiceNow for 18 months now and initially chose to work with them due to their strong commitment towards giving back to the community. For Chris choosing a company with aligning morals was no easy task. “I wanted to choose a company that was serious about this work (in regard to philanthropy). A lot of companies are saying they care, but do they really care?… It’s important to reach back, it’s important to invest in the community, and I’m fortunate to have a role where I get to do that hands on.”
This raises the question we’re all wondering: How did ServiceNow’s relationship with ABFK find its roots? Chris explained that “we have over 500 volunteers internally on our engineering team that want to give back to the community… Somebody from San Diego actually mentioned A Bridge for Kids… We have an internal team that looks at different opportunities, where we should go, they voted, and made a decision to reach out.” ServiceNow put together a 10 week computer programming course for 10 of our kids. Each kid that was interviewed and chosen to participate in the program was given a free laptop and a $1,000 sponsorship. In the course they were given an introduction to AI. ServiceNow paired up each of the students with a mentor and they were taught that coding can be fun and engaging.
Chris said, “A cool thing was after they went through the process of understanding how to build and use our platform, we allowed them to create their own app. So now these kids have created their own app, they put it on their resume, and they get this confidence. They’re like “oh, I can really do this!” and that’s half the battle. Our community struggles because we have a lack of exposure. So by giving them the exposure and the confidence that they belong and that they are great, I’m sure that the students as they get older will do great things.” These projects were especially impactful to these students because they were given the chance to solve real problems they found in their day to day life. One student developed an app to help her pick college courses, noting that her college didn’t have such a resource, she realized this would be a great tool for her university’s community.
While these driven students learned much inside the classroom, they gained much more than just technical programming skills. They received a newfound confidence and self esteem. “They had to take zoom calls, respond to emails… Learn how to have a true conversation in a business setting,” says Chris. Chris was thoroughly impressed with these students and would like to see this 10 week program become an annual occurrence. Chris wasn’t the only mentor who was impressed. Victor Bracamontes and Julio Fernandez, two fellow mentors and ServiceNow employees, were also very impressed. Despite the class being over, many of the students remain in contact with their mentors to ask them for advice on their new projects and such. Chris noted that he and his coworkers felt especially passionate towards A Bridge for Kids’ mission, and they wanted to do more to help after the classes ended. Pondering the question “what can we do more than just give them laptops, swag, etc.” This is when Victor and Julio discovered the sponsorship program, and very generously decided to sponsor their mentees with a $2,500 scholarship for both of their students.
Jaylen Stevenson, Julio Fernandez, Ananely Alonso, Mrs. Alonso
We are so grateful to ServiceNow for dedicating their time to our students (over 15 volunteers within the company, and over 400 total hours). The A Bridge for Kids family is so thankful for their ongoing support, and we look forward to what the future holds!