Facebook Reaches Out to East Palo Alto & Menlo Park
May 6, 2014
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Through summer internships, grants, and the newly opened community police substation, Facebook has recently supported East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park (specifically Belle Haven) communities less than 5 minutes away.
The social media network is providing summer internships for East Palo Alto and Belle Haven sophomores (during the 2013-14 school year). According to its website, the chosen students will work in conjunction with the “Facebook Information Technology (IT) Operations and Facilities teams.” Specifically, the interns will “supply logistics, computer deployments, conference room technology verification, data cleanup, event planning, transportation resources,” among other areas of the company. Upon completion of this thirty hours a week, six-week program each student will receive a $1,500 stipend.
Facebook is not only providing opportunities for youth, but funding services for all members of the community.
Originally a Menlo Park Police Department substation, the newly-opened (April 26th) center also serves as community center. The room includes a message-board, meeting room, and ATM for use of the Belle Haven community, according to the Almanac.
The Philanthropic Ventures Foundation Facebook Local Community Fund program serves to provide $3,000-5,000 grants for non-profits that aid Belle Haven and East Palo Alto. Susan Gonzales, the Facebook Head of Community Engagement stated the fund’s goal to “further develop our relationships with our neighbors,” as the Facebook headquarters are adjacent to the East Menlo Park/Belle Haven, according to the website. The non-profits are elected by a board of members including Ms. Gonzales and the Facebook Manager of Diversity and Inclusion, along with the Mayors of Menlo Park and Palo Alto.
In the past, the fund has given grants to Girls to Women, an organization in favor of young women’s development. Another group supported by the fund was a teen program through Bayshore Christian Ministries, according to the fund’s blog. Several young women created an app that aided users in tagging vandalism and other community trash.
These programs serve to connect Facebook headquarters with its neighboring communities, ideally benefiting all members young or old while providing unique opportunities.