IBM Volunteer Stories

Inspiring accounts of IBMers’ dedication and accomplishments are described in these stories of service.

IBM Volunteer Excellence Award stories

The annual IBM Volunteer Excellence Award is the highest form of global recognition given to IBM volunteers. For 2018, fifteen teams and individuals from around the world have been honored by IBM Chairman and CEO Ginni Rometty for their contributions. The stories are an inspiration to others and can serve as models of success that other volunteers can follow.

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In Indonesia, an IBM volunteer brings together the strength of experts to diminish the impact of natural disasters

Indonesia is susceptible to natural disasters in the so-called ring of fire. IBM volunteer Izzat Farahidy brought together experts to assess how technology can mitigate the impact of disasters there; he received an IBM Volunteer Excellence Award.

In Brazil, women in tech volunteer to show other women the path to success

The path for women to tech careers is not as direct as it could be. A team of IBM volunteers in Brazil created and led a multi-month mentoring program to help other women on the journey. The team received a 2018 IBM Volunteer Excellence Award.

Excellence award: IBM volunteers in Taiwan guide young people in career prep and giving back

IBM volunteers provide career guidance to university-aged youth volunteers bringing about education reform in rural Taiwan, while also giving them the methods to recruit their proteges. The IBM team received the Volunteer Excellence Award.

Excellence award: IBM volunteers lead and grow a mentoring program for university students in North Carolina

The Pathfinder Mentoring program has been an IBM volunteer-led initiative at North Carolina State University for 15 years—helping students with career guidance. The IBM volunteer team received a 2018 IBM Volunteer Excellence Award.

Excellence award: IBM volunteers in Japan help cancer patients tell their stories—providing strength in the shared experience

Thousands of people in Japan have heard the collected stories of cancer patients with help from IBM volunteers and a local NGO—providing strength in the shared experience. The IBM team received a 2018 IBM Volunteer Excellence Award.

Excellence award: Taking Watson to class is a success for students and IBM volunteers in Spain

IBM volunteers lead "Watson goes to class" to introduce AI to students in schools in Madrid—making the topic part of educational requirements in Spain for the first time. The IBM volunteer team received a 2018 IBM Volunteer Excellence Award.

Excellence award: In Belgium, IBM volunteer creates organization to help battle education inequality

“It's unfair we have a system that structurally puts children from minority backgrounds in a position to lose,” says Rihab Hajjaji, founder of PEP!

Excellence award: A tech bootcamp by IBM volunteers in the Philippines helps students learn new skills to change the world

The IBM Innovation Bootcamp in Cebu is helping students such as Bracel Paderes use technology to create new solutions—her team’s app won an award.

Volunteer Stories

Learn more about what IBM employees and retirees are doing in their communities around the world.

Volunteer perspectives—stories by IBM volunteers

As an active volunteer in Bangalore, India, Prabodh Gupta has participated in a day of compassion for nine years in a row. He shares his story about some of this year’s activities and thoughts on being a volunteer.

Volunteer perspectives: Co-creating the IBM social impact journey

IBM volunteers and stakeholders co-created and its volunteer portal. Read some of the input that shaped the digital transformation of IBM’s corporate social responsibility online presence and the social impact journey available for IBMers.

5 ways to volunteer from home

It’s possible to engage in impactful volunteering from your home. We summarize a few volunteer opportunities, projects and tools to support your interest in helping others when leaving the home is discouraged.

Perspectives on volunteering—stories by IBM volunteers.

Since 2018, Jeanette Crawford, an IBM infrastructure project manager in the UK, has been the lead volunteer coordinator for Time to Talk events across IBM UK, which promote conversations about mental health and bring people together.

When told to get out, residents in Minnesota get help from IBM volunteers

In Rochester, Minnesota, the scary and threatening arrival of an eviction notice is now being eased by IBM volunteers working with local legal aid organizations to help people stay in housing and avoid homelessness.

Perspectives on volunteering—stories by IBM volunteers.

Patrice Scully, an IBM practice manager in the United States and a long-time volunteer, shares her perspective on mentoring and using IBM initiatives to help veterans, students and her community.

Little robots with a big mission are set to launch at a Detroit school

Building on a few other volunteer projects, John Arnold brought together a team of volunteers, educators and administrators to build a robotics program scheduled to launch in mid-January 2020 at a school in Detroit.

Taking one day to make a difference, IBM volunteers around the world form a cadre to positively impact their communities

For the second year in a row, IBM early professional hires and others joined together in Make a Difference Day—a coordinated and sustained 24-hour period of volunteer service across global time zones to make a difference in their communities.

Mission driven—IBM volunteers help veterans identify and prepare for civilian careers

For over ten years, IBM volunteers have been on a mission with American Corporate Partners to help veterans and their spouses transition from military to civilian careers. Three IBM volunteers share their experiences working with veteran proteges.

IBM STEM camp for girls in Texas celebrates 17 years of tech activities and fun

Hammering a nail with a banana is one example of how girls at the IBM GIGAWOT camp in Texas are introduced to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The camp has been a fixture for girls and IBM volunteers in the Dallas area for 17 years.

One team: IBM volunteers and their business clients come together in a Week of Impact to serve their communities

Volunteers on IBM’s communications sector services team partnered with their business clients in eight cities to deliver service projects during their Week of Impact initiative in mid-September.

IBM marketers in India provide expertise and activities for disadvantaged children

Working both behind the scenes and in the field, over 50 volunteers from the IBM Marketing Services Center in Bangalore, India, are helping a local NGO provide care for disadvantaged children.

What is your volunteer story?

We truly appreciate hearing of the many ways that volunteers contribute their time and resources to help others. More importantly, we are proud of the role IBMers play in helping their communities, worldwide!