by Tonie Hansen

When the NVIDIA Foundation, our charitable arm, asks employees each year what our top priorities should be, invariably they come back with improving both access to education and the quality of schools. As a result, we have donated more than $2 million to education causes worldwide since 2008.

Our employees also use their own wallets, muscle and brainpower to improve learning opportunities for students all over the world. Here are a few examples:

Hyderabad employees pass out backpacks to
students at the NVIDIA Government Primary School

In Hyderabad, our employees recently handed out new backpacks and water bottles to students at a local primary school — a tradition started when our India team first adopted the school six years ago. In Pune, employees donated funds (which were matched by the NVIDIA Foundation) to build a classroom in a new school for visually impaired girls. The classroom is to open this fall to provide education and job skills for these young girls.

In the US, employees in field offices like Austin, Tex., Beaverton, Ore., and Fort Collins, Col., hold back-to-school drives where employees donate backpacks filled with school supplies to low income youth. They provided 1,236 backpacks this year, exceeding our goal by more than 20 percent. In just the past few years, our U.S. employees have donated more than 7,000 backpacks to deserving kids in their neighborhoods.

Santa Clara employees build activity kits to be
donated to K-12 teachers throughout Silicon Valley

And at our Santa Clara, Calif. headquarters, several hundred employees helped equip math and science teachers for the upcoming school year. We partnered with Resource Area For Teaching to engage our employees in making hovercrafts, chromatography kits and spectroscope kits – made of recycled office supplies. Together, over 600 employees made 3,750 kits. Since each kit serves several students, we’re improving the classroom experience for approximately 61,000 kids in Silicon Valley this year.

Are you passionate about education? Consider mentoring or tutoring at your local school or donating to a classroom in your town. Organizations we think are worthy of your consideration: Resource Area for Teaching, Room to Read, and Mission Backpack.