Positive Thinking: More than Just a Mantra

Think positive. It might be an overused, even clichéd mantra, but it’s the perfect call to action as we celebrate Intel’s 40th anniversary. To mark four decades of technological excellence, thousands of Intel employees are donating some one million hours of their time to performing a diverse range of volunteer activities within their communities.

One such volunteer program, the “Think Positive” project, has attracted dozens of Intel employees in Israel who mentor high school students during after school hours at Intel campuses throughout the country. The program helps students reach high-level achievements by exposing them to the high-tech work environment.

I think “Think Positive” is a great name for a volunteer project involving high school kids. When you consider that the program facilitates the study of math and science, two areas which are often difficult and frustrating for high school students, “Think Positive” genuinely puts students in a positive frame of mind, supporting and encouraging their abilities to succeed in these two study areas.

You don’t have to believe me. Just look at what students who participated in the program had to say about it. These are excerpted (and believe me, I really had a hard time choosing because this is just the tip of the iceberg) from among the dozens of completed surveys we received about the program.

- “Meeting people from important companies and speaking with them about how they got there… In my opinion, that’s interesting and useful.”

- “My attitude towards mathematics improved and I learned new methods for solving problems. I loved the feeling of working with Intel engineers.”

- “Math has suddenly become exciting, special, beautiful and – who would have believed it – simple.”

- “The project contributed a great deal to my understanding… and there was also an improvement in my grades… the project adds an element of responsibility… I now take all my different responsibilities more seriously.”

- “In my opinion, you guys should really continue with the project because there are tons of other kids who want to take part but there was no room.”

The “Think Positive” program has been operating on Intel campuses in Israel for several years. Its high degree of success comes from a number of factors:

- It matches rich human capital with the needs of the community

- It makes a significant impact on the community

- It suits employees from various departments (not just technical ones)

- Students achieve immediate results

- Volunteers feel a sense of pride and achievement enjoyment on the part of the volunteers.

High school students who have participated in “Think Positive” have improved their grades in mathematics, physics, chemistry and related subjects. Beyond that, the long-term goal is to help them obtain good grades on their matriculation certificates, encouraging them to enroll in science or engineering faculties at Israel’s universities, after which they will hopefully secure coveted positions in knowledge-intensive industries…. maybe even at Intel.

So, think positive! It’s an ideal way to help build the next generation of technology workers…And, because some of them will help drive Intel’s future, it’s a perfect way to celebrate Intel’s first 40 years.

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