Youth SparkThe world stands at a crossroads. While there are more young people on the planet than ever before, youth unemployment is double that of the adult population. Countries are struggling to develop modern workforces due to the growing gap between the skills of unemployed workers and the skills needed to perform the jobs of today and tomorrow. Today’s young people face an opportunity divide – a gap between those who have the access, skills and opportunities to be successful and those who do not. Closing this opportunity divide is one of the most important actions we can all take to secure the future of our youth and the future of our global economy.

Microsoft YouthSpark is a companywide initiative designed to create opportunities for hundreds of millions of youth around the world. Through partnerships with governments, non-profits and businesses, we aim to empower youth to imagine and realize their full potential by connecting them with greater education, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities. We want to empower youth to change their world.

Microsoft YouthSpark marks a new focus for our philanthropy efforts.  Given the size and scale of the crisis we are committing the majority of our corporate cash giving to support non-profit organizations that serve youth. While the focus is new, we are building on 30 years of philanthropic experience and our commitment to strong community partnerships that drive our work.

Opportunities to change your world are within reach. Whether your goal is getting new skills, a better job, or a better planet, we have tools and programs to help you get there. Dream it. Learn it. Live it. To get started please visit some of our new youth-focused Citizenship initiative, including:

Give For Youth: a global micro-giving marketplace focused specifically on raising funds for non-profits that support youth causes around the world with Microsoft’s support, harnessing the power of technology and the passion of the global community to connect donors with beneficiaries;

Microsoft YouthSpark Hub: an online space where young people can explore and access all of the services, programs and resources provided by Microsoft and select non-profit partners for education, skills, employment and entrepreneurship.  We know these programs work and we want to ensure that every young person can easily find the opportunities they need;

Innovate For Good: a global online community enabling youth to collaborate, inspire and support each other while using technology to make a difference in their communities. We know one of the most powerful catalysts for change is young people themselves and bringing this community together across borders and boundaries is a powerful driver of change and opportunity.

For more information about YouthSpark and how to get involved, please visit: http://www.microsoft.com/youthspark

 

You can find out more about the range of programmes Microsoft Partners in Learning offers by joining for free at www.pil-network.com