Alcatel-Lucent Foundation Blog: Thursday is the Best Day of the Week

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Alcatel-Lucent Foundation Blog: Thursday is the Best Day of the Week

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Blog post by @cdiamente on mentoring: "Thursday is the best day of the week" @WorldEd & @ALU_Foundation ConnectEd
Friday, March 21, 2014 - 11:20am

It was a very late video call for me in the UK in early March when I connected with the YWCA New South Wales based in Australia to mentor two young girls, Brooke and Savannah as part of my work for Alcatel-Lucent Foundation.  For the girls, it was a bright and early Thursday morning. They were starting their classes at the beginning of a whole new school day.  For me, it was close to midnight but the result was so inspiring.

One of the girls said to me: “You know, Thursday is the best day of the week”.  “Why is that?” I asked.  Well in fact, Thursday is the day when these girls have the chance to interact with YWCA NSW youth workers from the ConnectEd program in Sydney, Australia a global program sponsored by Alcatel-Lucent Foundation, in conjunction with the NGO World Education and YWCA NSW.

So what did they do on Thursday?  “On Thursday, I go into a bright room, full of smiling faces and people who care about helping me be successful,”  they both said. Thursdays were about a variety of different activities including career workshops.  Volunteers included many Alcatel-Lucent employees in Sydney working with girls from disadvantaged communities, providing career advice and mentoring on basic steps such as how to write a resume or a CV, preparing work applications and  digital skills.  The result is astounding:  young, confident girls with greater awareness on the skills, talent and job potential.  They smile, they laugh and most importantly, they are proud. 

So I asked: “What is the  message you want to share with Alcatel-Lucent employees and our Foundation?”.  The answer was very simple “ConnectEd is a such a good program—it has changed who I am. Thank you.”

The call was cut short as Brooke and Savannah had to go back to class. But quite symbolically, as I ended my remote meeting with these two very inspiring young ladies, Alcatel-Lucent was preparing to kick-start its Women’s Day on March 6th.  I couldn’t think of a better way to kick-start my Women’s Day and my Thursday.

So the message I would like to share is - Congratulations to Brooke and Savannah for their commitment to the ConnectEd program and the inspiring results.  And congratulations to the employees of Alcatel-Lucent Australia, YWCA NSW for their commitment to the success of the Foundation’s ConnectEd activities in Sydney and to these young ladies.   I agree, Thursday is the best day of the week.

Between March and December 2013, the ConnectEd program in Australia worked with over 50 in-school young people to complete a second level certificate in community services. The program consisted of practical workshops, work experience and excursions to promote civic awareness.  Since the start of the program in 2011, in Australia, some 1,047 youth have benefited from ConnectEd activities.

Learn more on Alcatel-Lucent Foundation and ConnectEd.


Christine Diamente is Head of Brand and Corporate Sustainability at Alcatel-Lucent and an Alcatel-Lucent Foundation Trustee.


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Keywords: Education | Alcatel-Lucent | Alcatel-Lucent Foundation | ConnectEd | Education | Volunteerism & Community Engagement | World Education | YWCA NSW | girls education