GroundTruth recently teamed up with SuitUp to host a week-long virtual competition for middle school students. SuitUp is a 501c3 education non-profit that increases college and career awareness and preparedness for students in underserved communities through innovative business competitions. Their goal is to make education more exciting and relevant for students who need it most by aligning the incentives of companies and schools. GroundTruth employees coached SuitUp students in building out a product launch with a focus on the marketing, design, and finance needed to create and present a complete business pitch.
Initially, I volunteered with SuitUp while at a prior company. It was Volunteer Day and we had the opportunity to choose from an assortment of different activities. SuitUp stood ahead of the pack in my eyes as a way to truly make an impact on young individuals from an educational standpoint. I was struck by the balance between business, education, and career development that the SuitUp program brought to its students. By participating in a mentor capacity, I could teach concepts to students that they may not have been familiar with in the past. Volunteering with SuitUp was such a rewarding experience that I joined the company as a board member a few years later!
I thought GroundTruth would be an incredible fit to join forces with SuitUp. As a company that prides its focus on social good, it was an easy sell to our leadership team. The team, who had been looking for new ways to promote DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging), jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the program for its similarities in mission and the professional development of others.
The pandemic led to businesses shifting their approaches virtually and SuitUp was no exception. The competition, which was normally hosted in-person, at a school or in an office, benefited from the face to face interaction of volunteers and students. While the shift to an online model raised challenges on both sides of the coin, SuitUp created an incredible learning environment for students and volunteers to deliver amazing presentations.
While some students may not have access to computers or the internet, they were still able to find alternatives to stay involved, triumphantly highlighting that resourcefulness can help to overcome the daily challenges in the business world. It was great to see volunteers from all across our offices at GroundTruth participate with students they may not have otherwise met from Detroit, MI. The benefit of the event being virtual is that it opened the door to working with students in other states and allowed more GroundTruth employees to participate as the company is headquartered in New York but has several remote offices.
Overall, being a coach was extremely rewarding. In the current landscape where the in-person learning environment is uncertain, students can benefit from innovative outlets for growth and development like the competitions that SuitUp produces. In a matter of a few hours within a week, we were able to help students learn about finance, marketing, and design. For some, it was an introduction to the business side of things and it was great to see the impact our team at GroundTruth had in helping these creative, smart students bring their ideas to life.
GroundTruth and SuitUp created an amazing experience for both the students and volunteers. We would love to give a special shout out to Lauren Reilly, Nicole Adams, and Kelsey English on delivering such a memorable event.
At GroundTruth, we believe it’s our responsibility to lay the groundwork for positive change. GroundTruth Impact is an employee-driven, social good initiative focused on creating sustainable change as individuals, through our partnerships, and within our communities. Collaborations like the one with SuitUp tie back to our goal of building a level-playing field.
How you can get involved: If you are interested in learning more about our social good program, GroundTruth Impact, or want us to connect with you someone at SuitUp to explore becoming a potential corporate sponsor, please fill out the contact form below.