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Meet Travis, Kevin and Kristian who have all volunteered with Give & Grow

Corporate social responsibility

Travis Nguyen
Learning & Development Specialist

When and why was Give & Grow launched?

Most of us want to help those that are less fortunate than we are. Often we feel discouraged to give because we believe that an individual cannot make a difference. For some, the difficulty is not having the time to get involved in charity work or not knowing where to give financial contribution. Considering these impediments, employees at Safran Cabin started a foundation called "Give & Grow" on May 1, 2007 in California.

What are the objectives of the foundation?

Our core mission is to support local communities and schools that are disadvantaged; with this, we operate under three guiding principles:

  • Create – Improve the physical condition of schools
  • Educate – Tutor children who need support
  • Donate – Provide scholarships and educational supplies to underfunded schools

What are some examples of projects undertaken by Give & Grow?

Every year, an average of 320 members contribute to our project. Our first principle, "Create," is realized in the central and southern part of the state. Give & Grow's mission is to do everything possible to promote education. Starting with a welcoming school, with clean classrooms, and a safe recreation area that all students can enjoy. We believe that if children want to come to school, they will learn more effectively. So, all the members of the association get involved: we scrape, seal, restore, paint, plant, bring new supplies and add a touch of color with the ultimate goal of improving the learning environment. Good material conditions foster increased student learning and feelings of safety, which help build a better future for children.

"Educate" provides academic and extracurricular support in education, through programs such as tutoring and other enrichment opportunities and experiences for youth. In today's economic climate, it's not uncommon for parents to work two jobs just to make ends meet. Due to this reality, students often find themselves lacking afterschool support; this is where Give & Grow lends a hand in filling the voids. The tutoring and extracurricular learning experiences help strengthen subject comprehension, build important learning skills, and most importantly boost student confidence.

It's undeniable that the cost of higher education is becoming more challenging for many students and at times can be discouraging. Our scholarship is not meant to be a catch-all for financial support. Instead, the mission of Give & Grow's "Donate" is to help encourage optimism for higher education. Additionally, we strive to create a spark that can help ignite the artistic, academic, and personal growth that each and every student possesses. 

What have you gained/learned from your volunteering experience?

Coming from a migrant family, and having experienced the hardship of poverty firsthand growing up, I struggle with the thought that so many students are still living in poverty today. Public school budgets are being slashed and this has consequences at all levels. For example, the lack of updated textbooks and playground equipment not up to safety codes. 

I joined Give & Grow many years back and continue to support this organization as Project Director because I want to make a difference in the lives of those who are not as fortunate. I want to be there for others just as others lent a helping hand during my darker days. My wish for those I have had a positive impact on is that one day they themselves will have the opportunity to leave a positive impression on others.

 


 

Kevin Gavert
Manager Technical and Analytical Applications

 

Which organization did you volunteer with? 

Safran Cabin's Give & Grow foundation.

What was your assignment? 

I have volunteered for three separate assignments. The first was a build project for an elementary school in Garden Grove California. My assignment was to help in the library revamp effort that included updated shelving, paint, and general enhancements. The overall build included a garden, jungle gym, updated baseball field, large painted mural and painted playground that looked great when finished. Due to the aging electrical wiring system at the school, a fire occurred and had destroyed the library. It was a wonderful sight to see Give & Grow stepping up to help rebuild the library and donating books and supplies.

The second assignment was for the Give &Grow scholarship. For this we were tasked to verify, validate, and vote on scholarship academic submittals. Part of the grading process included very heartfelt and real stories submitted by the applicants, making the decision very difficult.

One of my assignments involved chaperoning a trip to the California Science Center to teach kids about space exploration. This event meant a lot to me because the goal was to fuel their curiosity for science and provide them with valuable ideas and skills – ultimately helping to paint a picture of what they want to do when they grow up. While there, we also were able to explore the space shuttle Endeavor, which had recently gone up on display. The immense shock and admiration in their eyes when they saw the Endeavor, was something I'll always remember dearly.

Why did you choose this volunteering opportunity? 

These assignments provided by Give & Grow offered the chance to make a difference in the local community and to support our company-driven effort to reward young, talented individuals. Each assignment posed its own challenges but in the end everyone came together to make each project a success.

What did you gain/learn from the experience? 

Volunteering was a very rewarding experience that provided insight to both optimism and perseverance these young individuals demonstrate through adversity. It also brings Safran employees together as a team and see the difference it makes in our community.


 

Kristian Orozco
Product Support Engineer

Which organization did you volunteer with? 

I volunteer for the Give & Grow foundation.

What was your assignment? 

My role for the past few years has been leading the Murals Project for Give & Grow's Create program, where we beautify elementary schools and improve the school experience and quality of educational environments for local children. I have had the pleasure of leading teams to build playgrounds and gardens, and complete several mural projects in numerous schools. This normally begins by our own employees nominating schools where their children attend. As a Project Lead, I work with Give & Grow leadership to select and evaluate schools, then work with the school administrators and district to determine what we can offer the particular school, based on our budget and skillset as a group. The process normally takes several months while we determine the scope of the project and work out any and all design details with the districts and the cities as needed to comply with their goals and requirements. As part of the project planning process, we take measurements and generate sketches which eventually lead to renderings of the proposals in order to gain approvals and develop a plan for ordering materials for the day of the build event.

Why did you choose this volunteering opportunity? 

This volunteering opportunity is a great change of pace from the normal day-to-day tasks.  I love building things, as well as drawing and painting, and I enjoy doing these things for the kids! It's so fun and rewarding to know that they will appreciate our gifts for years to come, and create long-lasting memories for them with fun playgrounds or cool murals and relaxing gardens. 

What did you gain/learn from the experience? 

Aside from the gratification of delivering these gifts to the schools and receiving heartfelt thanks from the students, teachers, administrators, and parents, it is a great way to build relationships within the Safran family and build comradery with colleagues both in and out of the build projects. These builds are a lot of work, but it's a labor of love from all of us involved, not only the organizers but all of the volunteers who come out with open arms, ready for action.

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