Viacom’s Partnership with Franktown Makes Dreams a Possibility

Dec 11, 2017 9:45 AM ET

Viacom’s OneCommunity, an impact team initiated by the Global Business Services Department, is making strides to improve the community within and around them. One example of the impactful work done comes from the team in Cool Springs, Tennessee, that has a long-standing partnership with Franktown Open Hearts to provide children with knowledge and experiences they may not have received otherwise in hope to provide greater opportunities and paths for the immediate and foreseeable future. Franktown Open Hearts is a non-profit organization committed to the success of Franklin, Tennessee’s inner-city youth, many of whom come from single parent households with limited access to resources, education and employment opportunities. This organization provides mentoring through weekly vocational education and experiences that prepare underserved youth for the future.

Every month, Viacom OneCommunity welcomes groups of Franktown children to their office to participate in open table mentoring sessions with Viacom employees. Discussion topics have included: budgeting and saving, the importance of credit and how to maintain healthy mental/emotional habits. Not only do the children gain knowledge of subjects necessary for the preparation for a better time ahead, they are also exposed to an office environment full of diversity. Each Viacom employee brings a different aspect to the conversation with the children allowing them to realize the corporate world is not as “cookie-cutter” in nature as they once perceived. Viacom employs individuals from every walk of life and that is the most important lesson that the children learn. Other activities, such as a field trip to the local Viacom Operations Center, allow the children to immerse themselves in technology related fields that Viacom and the entertainment industry have to offer.  The children were able to cut film, review playlists from the Traffic team, balance audio and visual levels on CMT programming and ask probing questions regarding programming and commercials. They were also able to speak with Viacom professionals that have worked in the entertainment industry for over three decades. The goal of this partnership is to offer ongoing guidance to students and broaden their view of potential career options, all while having fun, meeting new people and learning tangible skills.

According to Levon Franklin, an Analyst of Linear Billing for Viacom and the Lead of the OneCommunity team, “Franktown Open Hearts started as an organization that we wanted to work with as a newly formed team of employees attempting to do some good for the community. After the first year of forming relationships with these children, they became part of our little office family. As we would do with our own children at home, we only want the best for them and plan on doing everything within our power to make their dreams a possibility.”

There are many ways to make a difference in the communities we work in every day. The Viacom office in Cool Springs found an opportunity and made a commitment to this program and the children. Not only is it benefiting the children, but it makes a difference in the lives of employees too!