Communicating Safety and Security to America’s Youth
Sprint Nextel offers comprehensive communications services to more than 52 million customers, while constantly developing and deploying groundbreaking technologies. The company’s mission is to be No. 1 in providing a simple, instant, enriching, and productive customer experience. Meanwhile, Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, the highest rating given to any telecommunications company.
Many of Sprint's social-responsibility initiatives are fueled by a passionate commitment to provide safety and security for those who need it, particularly young people. With that in mind, the company cultivates relationships with strategic partners who have specific expertise that can help ensure the success of programs to benefit children and communities across the nation.
Sprint's National Corporate Responsibility Partnerships initiatives include, for example, a program launched in 2007 in collaboration with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the National Education Association Health Information Network.
Dubbed “4NetSafety,” this partnership provides a free resource to deliver Internet-safety information to “tweens” and their parents, guardians, and educators. Since its inception, the program has grown and added a new partner, Boys and Girls Clubs of America. 4NetSafety offers guidance on extremely important and timely topics such as cyber bullying, sharing of personal information while online, and general safety tips regarding social networking and gaming.
Sprint also found a great way to fund 4NetSafety, doing so with proceeds generated by another initiative called Sprint Project Connect — a highly successful phone-recycling program. “At Sprint, we don’t want to see wireless phones tossed into landfills,” explains Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. “In 2010, Sprint achieved a 36% collection rate and is steadily moving toward our goal of collecting nine of every 10 phones we sell for reuse and recycling.”
Sprint also supports the National Safe Place youth-outreach program. Safe Place locations extend the doors of youth-shelter agencies into neighborhoods and have helped more than 110,000 youth across the USA. Sprint also funds a program called Txt4Help, which uses communication technology to quickly offer teens information about the closest Safe Place facility.
But Sprint realizes that, when young people get behind the wheel, this is another important place in which they need to be safe. So, in 2005, Sprint started a wonderful nationwide program, Focus on Driving, in partnership with educators and law enforcement. “Five years later, as texting and other wireless activities have become a daily part of our lives,” says Debby Ballard, Sprint’s director of Community Affairs, “Sprint is proud to join DoSomething.org in this critical next step to get more teens engaged in the benefits of safe-driving habits.”
Sprint provided a $225,000 grant, for instance, to support DoSomething’s “Thumbs Wars: Teens vs. Texting & Driving” initiative. Today, thanks to “Thumb Wars,” teens across America are involved in the campaign to stop other youngsters from texting while driving.
CareerFOCUS Magazine™ and the National Eagle Leadership Institute® salute Sprint – winner of the 2011 NELI Award honoring stellar leadership in corporate and social responsibility.
CareerFOCUS Magazine™ and the National Eagle Leadership Institute® salute Sprint — winner of the 2011 NELI Award honoring stellar leadership in corporate and social responsibility.
Chief Executive Officer