Pongo Project Journal

Sharing stories of our work with teens
Sep 29
Richard is Honored!

Pongo Friends, I have some wonderful news! I have been selected as a finalist for the 2010 Integral Fellows Awards Program of the Microsoft Alumni Foundation. I am posting the press release below and including links to the impressive programs of the other four finalists...


Microsoft Alumni Foundation announces 2010 Integral Fellows Awards Program Finalists 

Microsoft Alumni give back with talent and resources around the world 

BELLEVUE, Washington – September 21, 2010 - The Microsoft Alumni Foundation announced today the five finalists for the 2010 Integral Fellows Awards Program.  A cornerstone of the Foundation, the Integral Fellows Awards Program recognizes Microsoft alumni who have dedicated their lives to creating something extraordinary to help address challenges around the world.   The five finalists were selected from nominations put forward from among over 150 nonprofit organizations started by Microsoft alumni, and the thousands of alumni doing philanthropic work globally.

Award winners will be recognized by Bill and Melinda Gates at the Microsoft Alumni Foundation Celebration on November 18, 2010 in Seattle.  The winners will each receive a $25,000 unrestricted grant for their nonprofit organization, as well as support from their fellow alumni to help continue in their efforts to leverage resources and scale solutions for their initiatives.

The five finalists are:

The Microsoft Alumni Foundation brings together Microsoft alumni to positively affect the world’s challenges.  “We’ve been fortunate to play a significant part in the information revolution. Now we have a chance to change the world in a different way.  Microsoft alumni are making it happen every day in our local communities and around the world,” said Jeff Raikes, chairman of the board of the Microsoft Alumni Foundation.  "Some very unique individuals were nominated by their peers as Integral Fellows for their work deeply rooted in service and making a difference in people’s everyday lives. Today, I am honored to announce these five finalists.  On November 18th, Bill and Melinda Gates and over 400 fellow Microsoft alumni will gather to announce the final winners and celebrate all the nominees."

The nonprofit organizations being recognized include: 

  • Grameen Foundation - helps the world’s poorest, especially women, improve their lives and escape poverty through access to information, capital and viable business opportunities using microfinance and technology.
  • Pongo Publishing - helps abused and neglected youth to heal by writing poetry, with Pongo Teen Writing projects in homeless shelters, juvenile detention centers, and psychiatric hospitals.
  • Foster Care Justice Alliance – defending the rights of children in out-of-home care, by advocating for changes in society and law, and by providing support to foster kids, foster families and relative caregivers.
  • Literacy Bridge – connects poor, rural communities with the vital knowledge they need to improve their lives by providing the world’s most affordable and durable audio device, designed specifically for people who cannot read and who live without electricity.
  • NetHope - a collaboration of 30+ international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that facilitates public-private partnerships with major technology companies, foundations and governments, enabling NGOs to better leverage their technology investments to improve the delivery of aid in the developing world.

“The Foundation is honored to have such a great panel of esteemed judges working closely with us to recognize Microsoft alumni and their nonprofit organizations,” said Sharon Maghie, secretary of the board of directors, and chair of the Integral Fellows Committee.  The panel of judges includes: 

  • Tom Brokaw, journalist and author
  • Bill Drayton, chair and CEO, Ashoka
  • William H. Gates Sr., co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Pierre Omidyar, founding partner, Omidyar Network and founder and chairman, eBay Inc.
  • Judith Rodin, president, Rockefeller Foundation
  • Thomas J. Tierney, chairman and co-founder, Bridgespan Group

Rigorous evaluation of the finalists included achievements that embody the values of the Microsoft Alumni Foundation, which are: innovation; entrepreneurship; effectiveness; collaboration and integrity.  Additional criteria in selecting the winners included: the ability to create something extraordinary out of limited resources; selflessness; passion; smarts; need; and, scalability.


About the Foundation:  The Microsoft Alumni Foundation was established to catalyze the collective power of the Microsoft alumni family and leverage our resources on innovative, scalable and transformative solutions to our world’s challenges. Launched in 2007, the Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public nonprofit organization with its worldwide headquarters based in Bellevue, Washington, USA. Board members include: Jeff Raikes (chair); Chuck Hirsch (president); Scott Oki (co-founder and vice president); Paul Shoemaker (treasurer); Tony Audino (co-founder); Sharon Maghie (co-founder and secretary) and Brad Smith (Microsoft representative).

Note to editors:  If you are interested in viewing additional information on the Microsoft Alumni Foundation, please visit http://www.microsoftalumni.org/.

For additional assistance please contact:
Pamela Portin, Pamela Portin Consulting, LLC.
Mobile: 206-484-2644 Email: pamela@pamelaportin.com