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CSR Press Release

As National Hispanic Heritage Month Begins, Microsoft Announces $1.7 Million Software Donation to Innovative Hispanic Nonprofit; Sponsors Hispanic Heritage Awards in Washington, D.C.

Submitted by: Microsoft Corporation

Categories: Human Resources & Diversity

Posted: Sep 06, 2000 – 12:00 AM EST

 

ASPIRA Grant, HHA Sponsorship to Help Bridge Digital Divide, Highlight Achievements of Latino Community

Microsoft Corp. today announced it has awarded a Technology Leadership Grant to The ASPIRA Association Inc., a national nonprofit organization devoted to the education and leadership development of Latino youth. ASPIRA is one of nine organizations to receive a Technology Leadership Grant this year. Microsoft awards the grants annually to national nonprofit organizations for the expansion of information technology and to help the groups better serve their constituents. This week Microsoft will also share in a celebration honoring Hispanic-American role models and the youth they inspire. Microsoft is one of the corporate sponsors of the Hispanic Heritage Awards (HHA), which will be broadcast by NBC on Saturday, Sept. 9. The awards ceremony, an endeavor of the Hispanic Heritage Awards Foundation (HHAF), is one of the highlights of Hispanic Heritage Month, which by presidential proclamation is Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 each year.

"We are pleased to show our support for these two outstanding organizations during this month when the spotlight is shining on the achievements of Hispanic-Americans," said Bruce Brooks, director of Community Affairs for Microsoft. "Both recognize the important role that technology plays in the lives of Latinos, and are helping to move the Latino community from an era of digital divide to one of digital opportunity."

ASPIRA's mission is to empower the Puerto Rican and Latino community through advocacy, education and leadership development of its youth. Microsoft initiated its support of ASPIRA in 1999 with grants that helped ASPIRA implement a leadership development program and a math and science academy. ASPIRA will use the $1.7 million Technology Leadership Grant to develop a national model program for training Hispanic parents and students in information technology at more than 40 community technology centers across the country, as well as to enhance internal communications capabilities and organizational effectiveness.

"Technological proficiency is absolutely critical in helping students achieve their educational and professional goals, as well as to ensure that our communities fully enjoy the benefits of the technology revolution," said Ronald Blackburn-Moreno, president and CEO of ASPIRA. "With Microsoft's help, we can reach out to thousands of Latino youth across the country and provide the skills they need to not only compete, but excel in their chosen fields. We are very proud to partner with Microsoft to help bridge the digital divide by providing access in our low-income communities to the state-of-the-art technology that more affluent communities already have."

Hispanic Heritage Awards

As part of Microsoft's ongoing commitment to Hispanic achievement, and in addition to sponsoring the HHA, Microsoft is also a sponsor of the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards program that honors the achievements of Hispanic high school students.

"By developing the talents of Latino students, we can cultivate a more diverse work force and ensure that Latinos have an equal ability to compete for jobs in the technology sector, as well as in other industries," said Orlando Ayala, who as group vice president of the Sales, Marketing and Services Group is responsible for worldwide marketing of the Microsoft brand, and is the company's highest ranking Hispanic executive.

This year, funding from Microsoft enabled the HHAF to expand the Youth Awards program to create a science and technology scholarship, which was awarded to 10 students from cities across the nation.

"I applaud the efforts of companies like Microsoft that are making a difference in the lives of Latino youth," said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-33rd Calif.), chair of the Hispanic Caucus. "By working together to reach all of our country's students, we can create an entire generation ready to work in a technology-driven economy and close the digital divide that exists in the Hispanic community."

Microsoft's Efforts to Bridge the Digital Divide

For more than seven years, Microsoft has been committed to helping bridge the digital divide and has created and supported a number of efforts designed to provide equal access to technology across the nation. In the last three years, Microsoft has committed more than $7 million in cash and software to community organizations, educational institutions and human service agencies serving the Hispanic community. To enable excellent technology infrastructure, teacher preparedness, staff training and computer access for primarily Latino students, Microsoft has supported -- through the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) and other organizations -- 20 traditionally Hispanic colleges and universities with $4 million in software (estimated retail value) and $623,000 in cash grants.

About Microsoft Giving

Created in 1983, Microsoft's giving program is one of the first philanthropic efforts in the high-tech industry. The company's worldwide charitable efforts are aimed at increasing access to technology for disadvantaged communities and supporting community organizations in the areas of education, human services, civic development, the arts and the environment. Last year, Microsoft gave more than $34 million in cash and more than $200 million in software (estimated retail value) to more than 5,000 nonprofit organizations. More information on the Microsoft Giving Program is located at http://www.microsoft.com/giving/.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.

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