IBMers have a long tradition of volunteering their time, skills and expertise with schools and community organizations worldwide. Inspiring accounts of their dedication and accomplishments are described in these stories of service.

Most recent stories are listed first.

IBM volunteer in Turkey puts Watson on the syllabus

For three years, Murat Açar has volunteered to teach a semester-long class in big data and analytics at a university in Istanbul, helping students appreciate the real world applications of cognitive computing.

IBM volunteer brings robotics to homeschooled students in Kansas

When parents like Jeff Ousley realized that their homeschooled students didn’t have access to robotics competitions, they launched a new group to show kids new possibilities in STEM.

Excellence award:  Mentors in Brazil coach youth ambassadors for experience of a lifetime

Leo Wagner Fernandes leads a team of IBM volunteers in Brazil who each year mentor high achieving, but economically disadvantaged students selected for the Youth Ambassadors Program. Leo received a 2016 IBM Volunteer Excellence award.

Excellence award: In Shanghai, the sound of angels is heard with help from IBM volunteers

For seven years, a team of IBM volunteers in Shanghai has been helping children with autism at Cao Peng Music Center to improve their social skills through music. The volunteers received a 2016 IBM Volunteer Excellence award.

Volunteer raises pups to be guide dogs and IBM Watson predicts success

For six years, IBM volunteer Lorraine Trapani has raised puppies on their path to guide dog training. She also helped Guiding Eyes for Blind start using IBM Watson to predict a dog’s potential to successfully complete training.

IBMer and Atlanta public school alumna brings STEM teachings to her former school

IBM consultant Lisa Haygood volunteers in EX.I.T.E., helping middle school-aged girls appreciate STEM at Price Middle School in Atlanta.

Hurricane Harvey: Values in practice as IBM volunteers respond to needs of others

IBM volunteers are essential in their communities when natural disasters strike, including Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

Excellence award: New IBM sellers improve Houston hospital operations and awareness

For the first time, a team of sellers in the IBM New Sellers Journey program have been recognized with an IBM volunteer excellence award—the team helped a hospital in Houston improve its operations and brand awareness.

In Slovakia, orphans find a caring friend with IBM volunteer

For ten years, Katarina Berkesova has volunteered at a foster care home in Nová Baňa, Slovakia, helping children develop a sense of family and belonging.

Excellence award: In Australia, an IBM volunteer helps build a pathway to new collar skills

Steve Davies has guided the innovative P-TECH program in Australia from its infancy to growth—what started as a pilot in 2016, P-TECH in Australia will expand to 14 locations by 2018. Steve received a 2016 IBM Volunteer Excellence award.

Excellence award: IBM volunteers mentor refugees on path to integration in Denmark

IBM volunteers in Denmark led a business mentoring program for refugees that is being praised as the model for private sector employee volunteerism to address certain refugee issues. The volunteers received a 2016 IBM Volunteer Excellence award.

IBM volunteers in Brazil help teens learn how to get their first jobs

Using their expertise as project managers, HR specialists, and business professionals, a team of IBM volunteers in Brazil shared their knowledge with at-risk teens on how to get a job.

Cognitive, cloud and community—IBM interns in the US go beyond to help those in their cities

In the summer of 2017, IBM intern Cynthia Flores Noriega conceived and led an initiative to motivate other interns and new employees to volunteer in their communities—a first for IBM’s internship program.

Excellence award: IBM volunteer shows Girl Scouts in Florida path to STEM and more

IBM volunteer John Quillinan is demonstrating the power of trust and personal responsibility in his work with the Girl Scouts of Citrus Council. He earned a 2016 IBM volunteer excellence award for his impact on the organization and its scouts.

Excellence award: IBM volunteers in Japan show pride in raising LGBT+ acceptance in the workplace

Eight IBM volunteers in Japan are using their expertise and skills to raise awareness of the continuing challenges facing Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) citizens in the workplace. The team received a 2016 IBM Volunteer Excellence Award.

The secret life of pets? Volunteer in Mexico helps improve quality of life for cats, dogs and their owners

“In just five years, a cat—or dog—and her mate, can be responsible for up to 11,000 more births when you consider the offspring also having litters,” says Amalia Garcia, a first line leader for IBM in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Volunteers bring design thinking to school in Turkey for new collar skills

Thanks to IBM volunteers in Istanbul, students at the Maçka technical and vocational high school have a new method to view and solve complex problems.

Excellence award: A new high score for serious gaming at school in Texas

Five IBM volunteers helped high school students modify a game to use cognitive computing and Bluemix services—giving them a platform to learn new skills. The IBM team received a 2016 IBM Volunteer Excellence Award.

Excellence award: IBM volunteer in India helps students uncover new abilities one Saturday at a time

Arun Kumar has coordinated IBM volunteers and dedicated four years of Saturdays to helping students with learning disabilities identify new potential. He received a 2016 IBM Volunteer Excellence Award for his commitment.

IBM consultant in Amsterdam supports art initiatives for ASVZ clients

Toineke Theeuwes, a healthcare sector managing consultant for IBM, helps bring art teaching to clients with mental and physical disabilities in the Netherlands.

In Singapore, IBM volunteers help seniors eat right and age well

World Health Day in April saw IBM volunteers in Singapore host a group of seniors for a day of information and fun.

Excellence award: In Chile, building a greenhouse builds pride and belonging

Claudia Mondaca Galleguillos worked with teachers at a high school in Chile to integrate several IBM Activity Kits into their lessons with students—leading to greater engagement. She received a 2016 IBM Volunteer Excellence Award for her work.

Excellence award: Mentoring minority students in the Czech Republic creates new paths to success

Four IBM volunteers in the Czech Republic mentored excluded minority students on their journeys to achieve different educational goals. The volunteers received the 2016 IBM Volunteer Excellence Award for their work.

IBM volunteer’s work skills in Australia come to the aid of the State Emergency Service

In Gisborne, Australia, IBM engagement solution manager Mark Reschke works with the State Emergency Service performing operations like road rescue, search and rescue and adverse weather response—and his skills at IBM have come in handy.

IBM volunteer in Texas helps build a safe haven for children and families

For 25 years Nancy Roe has volunteered in many different roles at Bryan’s House in Dallas, Texas, helping children and families with chronic illnesses and disorders. In 2017, she was recognized with an award for her service.

Excellence award: IBM volunteers in Indonesia help people with visual impairments experience the world

A team of IBM volunteers in Indonesia have accelerated the process of creating a digital library for the blind—two volunteers received IBM volunteer excellence awards for their efforts.

Excellence award: IBM volunteer in Ireland helps girls learn that coding is cool for them too

Niambh Scullion co-founded CoderDojo Girls in Ireland and is helping young women recognize their potential in technology. She received a 2016 IBM Volunteer Excellence Award for her work.

In Canada, IBM volunteer impacts families at Quebec City community center

Louis-André Marceau, a recently retired IBM client manager, has spent more than 10 years supporting neighborhood families at a community center.

IBM HR partner in Atlanta helps students find fun in engineering

Genelle Betterson, an IBM human resources partner in Atlanta, uses her engineering background to support Atlanta public school students in the IGN.I.T.E. program.

2016 IBM Volunteer Excellence Award winners announced

Honoring community impact made in 2016, IBM awards its highest form of volunteer recognition—the Volunteer Excellence Award—to 14 IBM teams or individuals from around the world.

IBM volunteers in Sweden bring tech training to women in transition

At Klaragården, part of Stockholm Stadsmission, IBM volunteers teach computer know-how to women in transition.

In Argentina, IBM project manager teaches life skills to mentally disabled

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, project manager Val Estela uses her expertise to teach life skills to people with disabilities

Middle school students in Dubuque, Iowa get inspired by STEM

Middle-school aged students in Dubuque, Iowa get hands-on experience with the STEM field, thanks to IBM day camps led by Adrienne Scott, and the support of 24 IBM volunteers.

Beijing-based IBM volunteers teach Watson Analytics capabilities to NGOs

Two IBM lead development reps in the IBM Digital Business Group demonstrate to NGO leaders in China that the capabilities of Watson Analytics are within their grasp.

IBM developer Bryan Childs makes a game out of computer science education

Using video game design and the broad appeal of Disney, IBM mainframe software developer Bryan Childs expanded computer science education to elementary, middle school, and high school students.

IBM volunteers in Turkey help students become science heroes and rising stars

ODC revisits Pelin Tayanç to see what’s new with her efforts as a volunteer. As a board member and volunteer for a national organization in Turkey, she has helped young people see more opportunities in STEM—and watched a few receive international recognition.

IBM volunteer helps cat lovers find their inner meow

Communications manager Nancy Riley has been helping good cats find loving homes through her work with Good Mews, a Marietta, Georgia shelter and adoption center.

IBMers revive social media presence for Toronto community services agency

IBM digital sales reps Alon Tsimbal and Vira Badiani advise an organization that addresses systemic poverty, hunger, homelessness, unemployment, and social isolation on their social media strategy.


IBM Centennial stories

Volunteer stories from our centennial year are available at the IBM History site.


Activity Kits

IBM’s volunteer Activity Kits include everything you need for a range of activities.


Citizen IBM blog

Read the latest news about IBM’s citizenship programs and join the discussion about corporate responsibility.