Microsoft launches program to close “opportunity divide” for youth

02 October 2012 | Michele Bedford Thistle, Business Manager, Government, National Security, and International Organizations, Worldwide Public Sector

​As we’ve recently discussed on our blog, a major challenge facing our global community is an “opportunity divide,” one that threatens to keep millions of young people from realizing their full potential. To help combat this growing problem, Microsoft has teamed up with governments, non-profits and businesses around the world to launch YouthSpark – a new initiative that aims to provide more than 300 million youth globally with access to employment, education, and entrepreneurial opportunities.

The program includes philanthropic contributions to non-profits that serve the global youth population, free access to cutting-edge tools for students and teachers such as Office 365 EDU, and a range of new youth-focused Citizenship initiatives, including:

• Give for Youth – A portal  that let users fund nonprofits that support youth causes

• Microsoft YouthSpark Hub – A hub that brings together youth services, programs, and resources that Microsoft and its partners offer

• Microsoft Innovate for Good – A series of events that lets youth to collaborate, inspire, and support one another while using technology to make a difference in their communities

My colleague Lori Harnick recently wrote about the new initiative on the Microsoft on the Issues blog, and I invite you to read her post to learn more. We’re thrilled to announce this program and are proud to help extend new opportunities to youth around the world!

Have a comment or opinion on this post? Let me know @Microsoft_Gov. Have a question for the author? Please e-mail us at ongovernment@microsoft.com.

Michele Bedford Thistle
Business Manager, Government, National Security, and International Organizations, Worldwide Public Sector

Microsoft on Government Blog

About the Author

Michele Bedford Thistle | Business Manager, Government, National Security, and International Organizations, Worldwide Public Sector

Michele is focused on sharing stories from government customers creating real impact for citizens, employees, economies, and students. She joined the worldwide team from Microsoft Canada, where she was also marketing lead for several technology start-ups.