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PegaCares: How Pega employees do good, together

Lindsey Clark, Log in to subscribe to the Blog

At Pega, we’re committed to being a responsible, global corporate citizen and an active contributor in the communities where our employees, partners, and clients live and work. This commitment is brought to life through our social impact program, PegaCares.

PegaCares supports initiatives around the globe focused on women and girls in technology, education and youth development, and environmental sustainability – in addition to partnering with nonprofit organizations that foster the advancement of underserved populations and equitable participation in tech. To help meet some of the most urgent needs of our communities as a result of the pandemic, we also focus on global relief efforts.

We empower our employees to participate in Pega’s social impact efforts – and the causes they are passionate about – through giving and volunteering. All employees have two days of paid Volunteer Time Off per year, and our giving program enables employees to direct a donation from Pega to a charity they personally volunteer with.

This year we launched the first-ever Pega Global Week of Giving as a way for Pega employees and their families to stay connected and give back from home through fun, charitable activities. Hundreds of employees participated in dozens of volunteer activities during the week, supporting more than 40 nonprofits in multiple countries globally. Pega employees also directed tens of thousands of dollars in charitable donations through our peer-to-peer recognition platform. During this turbulent year, we are grateful to be able to support our communities and look forward to growing our impact in 2021 and beyond.

The commitment and support of Pega volunteers such as Eva, Matthew, and Marius (highlighted below) are what make our PegaCares initiatives possible. Learn more about the organizations they are involved with and why they prioritize giving back.

Eva, Senior Business Analyst, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
Mentoring young Women of Color with Chica Project

When Eva moved to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic several years ago, she looked for a way she could give back to her community and help create opportunity for others – specifically underrepresented young women. A friend invited her to an event hosted by Chica Project, and she instantly connected with the organization’s mission to empower young Latinas and other Women of Color by providing access to mentorship, professional employment experience, and leadership development. Fast forward a few years later, she now serves as a mentor and assists with annual fundraising events.

Chica Project was founded in 2011 and has now supported over 700 Latinas and other Women of Color ages 14 to18 in Boston, Lawrence, and Lynn, Massachusetts through community- and school-based programs. When the pandemic hit, the programming shifted to virtual. At first, Eva was concerned that the young women – known as “Chicas” – wouldn’t receive the support they needed. “Being a mentor with Chica Project means being a holistic support system and being part of a powerful community,” she explains. “Everyone needs a mentor or someone in their life they can turn to, and that’s especially true for these Chicas, who are growing up in communities that have been especially vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic. We’re all struggling with something, so being able to share your experiences with others and find common ground truly helps.”

Eva finds her work with Chica Project so meaningful because of the lasting bonds she has been able to create with the young women, even after they leave the program. “I love to follow the journey of the Chicas after they graduate and to see them achieve what success means to them,” she says.

Matthew, Principal System Architect, Auckland, New Zealand
Planting a “Minimal Lovable Forest” with Greenhithe Ecology Network

From growing up on a farm to studying ecology at university, Matthew has always taken a particular interest in the outdoors. Although he’s spent his career in technology – including the last 10 years at Pega in Australia and New Zealand – he found a way to support his passion with Greenhithe Ecology Network. Greenhithe is a local nonprofit organization that mobilizes community volunteers to help restore and protect the environment, including weed removal, tree planting, and the occasional pest control.

Matthew first heard about the organization on Facebook and decided to get involved. Now, he contributes by maintaining the local park only 200 meters from his house. He has created a full nursery in his backyard with over 500 seedlings of native plants that he is cultivating to replant areas of the park. He also participates in workshops to educate the community on different environmental topics and the importance of protecting New Zealand’s unique ecosystem.

With support from the PegaCares program last year, Matthew and a few other volunteers were able to have the park professionally cleared of brush and thorns so that they could replant in the area. “We were able to plant more than 1,000 trees because of Pega,” Matthew explains. “Thank you for the help in creating an MLF (Minimal Loveable Forest)!”

Matthew enjoys frequent visits to the park, especially at night when it’s quiet and peaceful. “To see the growth over time – that is really special,” he says. It’s also been a great way for him to get outdoors and (safely) stay social during the pandemic. “I’ve really appreciated Pega’s support of Greenhithe and the fact that I can take two charity days off per year to volunteer,” Matthew says. “I definitely recommend everyone at Pega take advantage of the program and find a cause or organization they’re passionate about.”

Marius, Senior Technical Architect, Paris, France
Creating opportunity for students in Cameroon with Coup de Pouce Camerounais

Growing up in Cameroon, Marius witnessed the sacrifices his parents and many other families made to help their children go to school. Because primary school is not free there, many families with limited resources are forced to make a choice between managing costs for necessities, like food, or paying for their child’s education. “I see very brilliant children quit school because their parents didn’t have the money for them to continue,” Marius says. “It’s a very difficult situation.”

Marius has since moved to France, received a master’s degree, and established his career, but always wanted to give back to the country where he was raised. Five years ago, he and his wife created the charity Coup de Pouce Camerounais (Helping Hands Cameroon) to help supplement schooling costs for disadvantaged families and reduce the school dropout rates. With the help of donations, his organization purchases school supplies like pens, textbooks, and notebooks to provide to local students, in addition to directly paying school fees for high-achieving students in every class. Where possible, supplies are purchased in Cameroon and delivered by volunteers to help support the local economy.

This year, Coup de Pouce Camerounais was able to host their annual giveaway event in September, after originally being postponed due to the pandemic. Students from eight schools in Balengou, a city in western Cameroon, were able to receive materials to support their education. In addition to the usual supplies, masks and hydroalcoholic solutions were also provided to help fight the spread of coronavirus in the area.

Marius is proud of how the organization has grown and how he has been able to pay it forward. “When I was living in Cameroon, I would have loved to have a charity that could have made it easier for my parents to support me, my brother, and sisters to go to school,” he says. “I would feel really lost in life if I didn’t give back to the country I came from. I’m glad I can help people that are in the same situation I was in a few years ago.”

Want to work with teammates like Eva, Matthew, and Marius? We’re on a mission to connect, engage, and empower people. Visit Careers at Pega for a full listing of available opportunities around the globe, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor to learn more about #LifeAtPega.

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Industry: Cross-Industry

About the Author

As Pega’s Senior Social Impact Partner, Lindsey Clark is an advocate for corporate social responsibility, strategic community partnerships, and employee volunteerism.