Volunteer Spotlight: Taryn Sauthoff Uses Tech Talent for Good
By Rita Papadogiannis
Editor’s note: Viacom’s partner, Catchafire, originally published the article below on Medium. The two organizations collaborate on the Talent for Good program, which creates opportunities for Viacom employees to put their skills to work in the community.
Taryn Sauthoff, a Viacom employee in New York, is the embodiment of Talent for Good at work. She applied her web development skills to help YoungMoms, a non-profit organization that supports pregnant and parenting young women in rural Pennsylvania, build a new website. Sauthoff completed the volunteer project in a few months and continues to collaborate with the organization.
Below is an excerpt from her testimonial:
What motivated you to volunteer your skills on the Talent For Good platform?
Taryn: Many people want to volunteer but don’t know where to start. Often, when they think about volunteering, the first thing that comes to mind is going to a soup kitchen or giving out sandwiches to the homeless. Volunteering is certainly that, but can also be so much more. That’s really why Talent For Good appealed to me, because I was able to find a project that would help people, using my web-building knowledge — which would also help me improve on these new skills.
Can you give us an overview of the project?
Taryn: I wasn’t supposed to start right away but I ended up starting work on the site earlier because the site had been hacked and was completely down! Linda, the Executive Director reached out to say that the site and email, absolutely everything were down, so I sprang into action. I had never done many of the things that I had to do then, like working on getting a site back from a hacker or how to handle these situations rapidly but it was good practice as reacting quickly to technical problems could mirror a situation at Viacom.
The scope of the project definitely shifted due to this as I was originally only going to go in and update the WordPress theme and plugins and then train the YoungMoms team to maintain the website. Instead I ended up restoring their email accounts, recovering the website content and building a website from scratch — really doing the IT work as well as providing a brand new site.
Viacommunity is the global umbrella covering all of Viacom’s social impact and purpose-driven initiatives. By leveraging Viacom’s culture of creativity, Viacommunity offers programs that empower, engage and inspire our employees, audiences and company to make a difference in the global communities we serve.