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The New Meaning of Social Networking

Facebook Employees Work with Bronx Students to Develop Personal Brands, Career Trajectories

Here in New York, we do our best to forget 2004, the year Friends went off the air, the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl, and the Boston Red Sox won the World Series for the first time since 1918. Yet, 2004 undeniably marks a momentous change in human interaction and communication, as the social networking service Facebook launched that February.

Eight years and over 800 million users later, Facebook has grown into one of the world’s most recognizable brands, connecting people across states, countries, and continents. Now, what has also become one of the world’s largest corporate forces will interact with its users in a new way, as fifteen Facebook employees take on the role of “Citizen Teachers” to teach three distinct apprenticeships with Citizen Schools students from the Bronx.

Using Facebook’s “Timeline” feature, students in the brand marketing apprenticeship will not only track their past experience, but will imagine their future path, including milestones such as graduating from high school, going to college, and getting their first job. Students will also use Facebook’s popular “status update” feature to build their own personal brand and to craft a “brand promise” to their ideal future employers.

Volunteer Citizen Teachers from Facebook are not just teaching marketing skills; these volunteers are also leading apprenticeships in cooking and robotics, culminating in a Top Chef cook-off competition and a programmable robot challenge.

“We are absolutely thrilled about this partnership,” Director of Civic Engagement Shannon Bryant said. “This will, without question, be an invaluable experience for our students, and we really look forward to further developing our relationship with Facebook in the years to come.”