Beyond Donations - RISA Supporter Spotlight

June 25 2021

StandUp for Kids - Orange County 

Many kids don't grow up knowing anyone involved in STEM or attend a public school that focuses on the importance of STEM education. Not all kids have the same opportunities, but employees at RISA are helping to change that. We love that RISA employees "show their heart" to support homeless youth amid a global pandemic. That is why they're in this month's Supporter Spotlight.

RISA has been developing structural analysis and design software for over 30 years. Getting involved in the community and giving back is an integral part of who they are. The company has a social committee that organizes fun events and volunteer opportunities, like charity fun runs and food bank help. As RISA Senior Software Development Engineer Adam Cristiano explains, “One of the things that getting involved in philanthropy does is allow us to get together outside of work and develop deeper relationships with the people we work with while giving back.” And now RISA volunteers are teaching students what engineering is as part of the StandUp for Kids STEM module. “Taking a subject I know well and giving a glimmer of that to someone less fortunate who is eager to learn is really rewarding”, says Adam.

Teaching students about STEM allows students to fall in love with the subject and become more curious and aware of opportunities around them. Volunteers meet with middle school and high school students once a week for an hour. Each session teaches youth about engineering and provides hands-on examples, and explains how to navigate the software and tools engineers use in the workplace. These are kids who had no experience with engineering but are now thinking like engineers.

Besides the STEM module collaboration, RISA has also gotten involved in other StandUp for Kids events. Even in a virtual setting, RISA volunteers participated in the 2020 fun run, helping to raise funds for families impacted by the pandemic. And they helped us further our impact on homeless and at-risk youth through their year-end giving. Our daily impact is made possible by volunteers, donors, mentors, and partners such as RISA. We thank them for all their contributions and recognize their work and support. “As a profitable company it’s easy to write a check, but a bigger impact on changing the world is being ‘uncomfortably kind’ and getting directly involved in helping others like we do through StandUp for Kids,” shares Amber Freund, CEO of RISA.

We do our best to make sure our supporters are engaged and part of our family by communicating our events and how to get involved via e-newsletters. If your company would like to help us end the cycle of youth homelessness, please email Mike to learn more at MichaelO@standupforkids.org.

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