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Pro Bono Pros Help Students Stay in School with City Year

By Cheryl Timoney October 22, 2014

Pro Bono WeekIt’s National Pro Bono Week and Salesforce is celebrating by recognizing five outstanding Pro Bono Pros who use their Salesforce skills to drive social change. Pro Bono Week is a global celebration of the pro bono ethic that drives professionals across the world to use their talents to make a difference. Today we recognize Kyle Yin and Seema Gowda!

Our experts in the Customer Success Group at Salesforce are committed to the success of every Salesforce customer. And, they lead the company in giving back to communities by helping nonprofits leverage and innovate on the Salesforce Platform to achieve their missions. One team within the Customer Success Group, Program Architects, have found that not only do they give back through pro bono but they gain a lot from working with nonprofit customers. Pro bono provides hands-on experience that allows for deep immersion into the platform and builds skills and confidence that feeds back into their day jobs.

The Salesforce Program Architect power team of Kyle Yin and Seema Gowda, recently completed a major 120-hour project with City Year. City Year’s mission is to solve the national dropout crisis by providing much needed educational support to students in high-poverty communities. City Year does this by harnessing the power of young people for a year of full-time service. City Year provides these young leaders with necessary training and deploys them in partnership with teachers and school staff to add human capital and meet the scale of student need. Prior to working with Salesforce, City Year’s 2,500 annual volunteers were unable to keep real-time records of the time spent at schools and activities completed with students. They had difficulty tracking the progress of their students or measure their program impact.

City Year Chicago

Using Salesforce 1 and Communities, Kyle and Seema built a secure and easy to use custom app that enables City Year volunteers to track their time and the performance outcomes of students on their phone and while they are in the field. This app has dramatically increased the user-experience for volunteers and nearly eliminated time spent on data entry. Even more importantly, City Year is able to keep track of real-time data for the first time! Tim Cleary, Business Manager with City Year says this will “enable us to identify students who might be falling through the cracks, before it’s too late.”

Thank you to Kyle Yin and Seema Gowda for demonstrating the very best of Salesforce’s culture of giving back. In honor of Kyle and Seema, Salesforce.org is making a $250 donation to their charity of choice.

City Year Orlando

In FY15, 1,800 Salesforce employees logged 11,000 hours in pro bono volunteerism. If you are interested in learning more about pro bono at Salesforce visit salesforcefoundation.org/probono.