Giving Back through Time and Talent
Skills-based and pro bono volunteerism capitalize on the personal talents, core business skills, experience and education of our employees. Providing opportunities for skills-based and pro bono volunteerism is one way we help DIRECTV to be an employer of choice, especially for up-and-coming talent looking to give back while developing professionally. Research indicates that millennials, in particular, place higher value on companies that offer pro bono, skills-based volunteer opportunities.1
Employees find it especially rewarding to leverage their skills and experience in new ways. Research shows that those who frequently volunteer are more likely to be proud, loyal and satisfied employees.2 Connecting volunteers with the right skills to the right project at the right time increases our impact and builds stronger relationships between our employees and the nonprofit sector.
A Billion+ Change
We are proud to be a part of A Billion+ Change, the national campaign to transform culture so that enterprises throughout the U.S. will respond to the needs of their communities and unleash the talent and expertise of their people in skills-based and pro-bono service.
Our Pro Bono and Skills-Based Programs
DIRECTV High School Mentor Program
This program, which launched in 2012, reaches students at two underserved high schools in Los Angeles and engages more than 50 employees annually. Students work one-on-one with DIRECTV employees who mentor them during bi-weekly meetings focused on college and career planning. This program supports students during the spring of their junior year and fall of their senior year — critical times in the college application process. DIRECTV mentors work through a robust curriculum that helps students find and apply for scholarships and financial aid, develop resumes and personal statements, select and apply for college, and identify future careers of interest. The program also features field trips to DIRECTV facilities and headquarters, including our Los Angeles Broadcast Center.
Additionally, this program is mapped to DIRECTV’s Leadership Formula to guide employees in their own professional development through participation in the program.
87 percent of mentors felt that they had developed their skills for “Coaching and Developing Next Generation Talent” as a result of the program
84 percent of employee mentors identified as having strengthened their ability to set clear priorities as a result of the program
Bright Star Career Exposure Program
This program provides ongoing career education to students at Bright Star Secondary Charter Academy, a high-need high school in Los Angeles. For the 2013-2014 program, six students were selected to visit DIRECTV twice a week for their junior year to learn career skills as they navigated one- to three-week modules focused on various jobs and career paths.
For the program in the 2014-2015 school year, we have scaled to reach 20 students, who visit DIRECTV offices one day a month throughout their junior year.
For the 2014-2015 school year, DIRECTV launched a program through which a group of high school students visited our El Segundo headquarters weekly for a semester to learn to code from DIRECTV software engineers. At the culmination of the program, students developed and presented apps that they coded on the Android platform.
Middle School Math Tutors
This program pairs DIRECTV employees in Los Angeles with sixth-graders at a local middle school who need additional math support. Volunteers facilitate student-led math groups and problem-solving sessions twice a week and serve as positive role models.
For our 2014-2015 Middle School Math Tutors program, we will be partnering with the program’s participating teachers to measure how student achievement is impacted by this program.
Read to a Child
According to the National Research Council, students who are not moderately skilled readers by the end of third grade are unlikely to graduate from high school.1 To help ensure children overcome a literacy gap that can hinder their future educational performance, DIRECTV partners with Read to a Child, a national nonprofit that pairs adults with elementary school students for a lunchtime reading program. Our partnership with Read to a Child recruits volunteers to spend one lunch hour per week reading to an elementary school student.
2As reported by their teachers.
Teams from DIRECTV’s Santa Maria Home Services joined together in service to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which works to mobilize people and resources to fight the disease.
Employees from DIRECTV’s Azusa Home Services site volunteered with Think Together, a nonprofit that creates opportunities for kids to discover their passions and reach their full potential. The Azusa team hosted the Think Together winning science fair team from Lark Ellen Elementary for a tour and other activities.
Bakersfield Home Services team members helped beautify their community through a day of volunteer service with Keep Bakersfield Beautiful.
At the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Summer Camp, kids enjoy fun activities like swimming, dancing and horseback riding. DIRECTV employees work as camp volunteers and also support two annual MDA fundraising programs.
Nearly 50 DIRECTV volunteers participated in the Autism Walk, a charitable initiative of the Grant a Gift Autism Foundation.
Team members from the Boise Customer Care Center put tools and their skills to good use on behalf of Wish for Wheels. This volunteer project built and donated more than 100 bikes for local kindergarten and first-grade students.
C.S. Porter Middle School has a bright new look thanks to the efforts of DIRECTV volunteers, who participated in a three-part school beautification project that included renovation of student learning spaces.
DIRECTV volunteers honored local veterans through multiple volunteer projects, including preparing toiletry kits and notes of appreciation for homeless veterans and delivering lunch to veterans at the Denver VA Medical Center on Veterans Day.
DIRECTV employees from the Castle Rock Broadcast Center volunteered with Covenant Food Pantry and helped make the holidays brighter for seniors, the disabled and the unemployed.
DIRECTV employees volunteered 672 hours in 2014 to support One Church, One Child that helps find nurturing foster and adoptive homes for children.
Nearly two dozen volunteers from the Home Services site helped make sure the Fall Festival at J.R. Reynolds Elementary School was a big success.
75 DIRECTV employees took part in several initiatives to support student achievement and boost student morale at MacArthur Elementary School. Their efforts included fundraising, donating more than 8,000 school supply items and holiday gifts, as well as 300 hours of classroom support.
When severe weather and tornadoes hit Nebraska communities, DIRECTV volunteers responded, volunteering 160 hours to assist their neighbors.
Sioux Falls Home Services employees volunteered together to organize donated supplies at the South Dakota Food Bank.
Employees at the Red Oak Tech Service Center are important supporters of the local Red Oak Grand Theatre, which is operated solely by volunteers. Employees help with everything from ticket sales to concessions to make the theatre’s work possible.
Springfield employees donated more than 200 volunteer hours to the James River Basin Partnership to help protect the water quality of springs, streams, rivers and lakes in the area.
Team members from the Missouri Home Services facility lent their hands to the local Habitat for Humanity, contributing more than 200 hours during 2014.
DIRECTV arranged a visit of the C-Span bus in an event to reward high-achieving students at Huntsville’s S.R. Butler High School, where the teens learned about C-Span’s history and programming. Additionally, employees from the Huntsville Customer Care Center Learning & Development and Talent Acquisition teams completed two career workshops with seniors at S.R. Butler High School who are interested in working for DIRECTV after they graduate.
DIRECTV employees with Tullahoma Home Services participated in construction projects for their local Habitat for Humanity affiliate.
Customer Care Center employees took to the streets to raise funds at the American Heart Association Walk.
Team members from our Digital Entertainment Product Group partnered with Songcatchers, a nonprofit music program that provides children access to music lessons. Employees helped clean up and beautify the Songcatchers space, and with the help of Guitar Center, donated new instruments and accessories. DIRECTV and Viacom also made a grant of $5,000 to support the nonprofit’s ongoing work.