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Ocean Connectors Spotlight

Since 2015, Mission Edge has partnered with Qualcomm on a number of community initiatives, including a skills-based volunteer program. This program deploys high-functioning teams of corporate and nonprofit professionals to collectively tackle the pressing needs of nonprofit organizations in areas such as marketing, finance, legal, and technology. Mission Edge provides a structured environment and clear goals so that volunteers can enact solutions in the social sector that create real change.

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Ocean Connectors, a local nonprofit, took advantage of the skills-based volunteer program and was successfully matched with a Qualcomm employee, Lauren Lunde. Ocean Connectors’ mission is to educate, inspire, and connect underserved youth in Pacific coastal communities through the study of migratory marine life. In addition to educational and research programs, Ocean Connectors also generates revenue through their social enterprise, Eco Tours. Eco Tours offer turtle, bird, and whale watching excursions led by certified experts in marine science and conservation. Lauren, a Business Process Analyst at Qualcomm, was matched with Ocean Connectors based on her expertise and interest in the Ocean Connectors mission. With her background in business analysis, Lauren tackled the project of building cost models for the Eco Tours program.

I was really well matched to the project I was working on and learned a lot during the process. Overall, it was a great experience and I look forward to volunteering again.
— Lauren Lunde, Qualcomm Employee

Ocean Connectors Executive Director, Frances Kinney, was thrilled to be able to tap into the expertise of Qualcomm employees through the program. Having utilized similar programs in the past, Frances was already a fan of the model but found Lauren to be one of the most dedicated corporate volunteers with whom she has worked.

"We got really lucky with Lauren that she didn’t need much coaching; we really hit the jackpot with her. From the get-go, she understood exactly what we needed. I know we developed a long term supporter who will probably continue to be involved in the future. There is a 0% chance this project would’ve happened without the Mission Edge program.”

Ocean Connectors represents just one of many success stories of our skills-based volunteer program! If you are a corporate employee looking to give back in a more meaningful way or a nonprofit interested in utilizing a skills-based volunteer to complete a capacity-building project, please contact volunteering@missionedgesd.org. To learn more about Ocean Connectors, visit oceanconnectors.org.