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Empowering Change: Microsoft’s YouthSpark

Empowering Change: Microsoft YouthSpark


You may have read Madeline’s recap of Her Campus Washington’s amazing experience at We Day (if not, check it out here: http://www.hercampus.com/school/washington/we-day-2015-empowerment-new-generation), where many inspiring ideas and people were brought forward to empower the community. We Day emphasized empowerment through multiple forms; one of those being the use of technology. Technology opens doors of opportunity for educational growth and social impact, and I wanted to highlight one of the programs discussed during We Day that does just this: Microsoft YouthSpark.


YouthSpark is a collaboration of programs designed to help students find their passion and how they can better their communities. It is an opportunity for young people all over the world to build skills, prepare for future jobs, and make impacting change through use of technology and their creativity. YouthSpark inspires students to stretch technological boundries by holding competitions, such as Microsoft’s Imagine Cup, meant to challenge youth into utilizing technology to design meaningful impacts on their community.

At We Day, Her Campus Washington had the privilege to talk to Lori Harnick, General Manager of Microsoft Citizenship and Public Affairs, about the amazing work that the YouthSpark program does in shaping lives through the use of technology.  Lori told us how YouthSpark originally began, three years ago, as a means of insuring young minds had access to technology as well as the knowledge base on how to use it. “If we are going to invest, we should invest in the future” Lori proudly stated. Now, YouthSpark is a means of “encouraging young people to create through technology,” Lori indicated, with programs aiding students in achieving innovation and opening the world to their incredible ideas.


One such group of innovative students were present at We Day. YouthSpark’s Afrigals were interviewed on stage where they discussed the app they created for Microsoft’s Imagine Cup competition. Their app is a means of testing for sickle cell anemia through use of a smart phone to create increased access of diagnosis, and thereby treatment, of the harmful disease. It’s amazing ideas such as these that YouthSpark strives to make possible.

Microsoft YouthSpark builds on the potential young people of the world already have and gives opportunity to create meaningful change.


Her Campus Washington wanted to give a big thank you to the Microsoft YouthSpark team for inviting us to We Day 2015!

To learn more about YouthSpark programs, visit: http://www.microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/en-us/youthspark/you…


(Photo credit to Microsoft YouthSpark)


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