According to LinkedIn surveys, 1 in 5 managers hire someone because of their volunteer experience. As the skills-based volunteering movement gains momentum, many people are looking for opportunities to use their skills and talents to effect change. Yet, many professionals struggle with finding these types of opportunities.
LinkedIn is addressing this need by engaging professionals with opportunities to use their passions and skills to make a positive impact on the world. The Volunteer Marketplace allows organizations to recruit LinkedIn members interested in using their skills to make a difference.
Likewise, Nepris is an education technology company that matches employee skills to classroom and curriculum needs. Using Nepris, teachers are matched with an industry expert who connects virtually to their classroom. The expert is able to bring relevance to a topic students are learning about in class, mentor students on projects or evaluate student work.
Thanks to a partnership between LinkedIn and Nepris, LinkedIn members can receive recommended Nepris volunteer opportunities based on the details in their LinkedIn profiles. After clicking on a Nepris opportunity, LinkedIn members are directed to the Nepris site where they can become a classroom speaker and have a meaningful volunteer experience from the convenience of their home or workplace.
LinkedIn member Lynn Elliott is a retired paramedic with 20 years experience and was one of the first female paramedics in Mississippi. She was matched with an Aldridge Elementary classroom in Plano, Texas to discuss what it’s like to work in an emergency room. To help students better identify with the ambulances they see, Lynn researched the town of Plano and used actual pictures of their equipment as visual aids. With her personal experience, Lynn was able to help the students better understand emergency rooms and their role in the Plano community.
Lynn enjoyed the Q&A portion of the session and noted, “For second graders, I was impressed with the depth of some of their questions.” Reflecting on her experience Lynn said, “I’ve given many talks and presentations to children of all ages. This was different in that I could do it from home and I also liked that it connected several classrooms at one time.”
LinkedIn member Hassan Habib is a Web Application Developer at Robert Half Technology in Iowa. He was matched with Madison High School in Houston to discuss his typical workday and what it takes to get into software development. Hassan has mentored budding developers throughout the years and was excited to have that same impact in a classroom setting and on a broader scale. He found the setup process to be seamless and felt that “the time invested compared to the number of kids whose futures I might influence was a win-win!”
During Hassan’s session, students also were curious about his Egyptian background and asked questions about pyramids and camels. Hassan welcomed these questions because in his mind if this experience “leaves an impression and can serve as the link for just one child to remember the guy from Egypt who works on computers all day, then the tangent would be well worth it.”
Many other LinkedIn members have had similar experiences and as a result of this partnership, Nepris currently sources a third of their industry experts from LinkedIn. According to Alison Dorsey from LinkedIn, “Over 4 million LinkedIn members have added to their LinkedIn profiles that they’re interested in skilled volunteering or nonprofit board service. LinkedIn is excited to partner with Nepris to connect more professionals with opportunities to volunteer their skills while contributing to classrooms throughout the country.”
If you are a professional looking to inspire the next generation and expose students to exciting career paths, sign up to be a Nepris Volunteer Virtual Classroom Speaker through LinkedIn.
Nepris is a NewSchools Venture Fund portfolio company where Shauntel Poulson is a Partner.