Q&A with Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman

Marjorie Tschantre
Director, Operations Talent Strategy

Lindsey Silver
Manager, Talent Strategy

Stacey Alexander
Operations Compliance

Mithil Patel
Supply Chain Planning

Carson Gregg
Supply Chain Planning

How and why did Northrop Grumman get involved with Building STEPS?

Stacey: Northrop Grumman advocates a response for social justice to all its employees, as evidenced on our company website. As a smaller organization in Northrop Grumman’s vast and diverse bigger population of organizations, our team chose to align with Building STEPS because it was important to support positive change by helping to bridge opportunity gaps that exist in underserved communities. Our goal was to find a way to use our professional experience in resume review and interviewing to support and mentor local youth. We were made aware of Building STEPS by another Northrop Grumman colleague who is very active in STEM outreach in the Baltimore area. When we learned about Building STEPS and their role in enabling a successful transition from high school to college for Baltimore youth, we knew it was a great fit.

What surprised you most about Building STEPS?

Lindsey: I think the thing that surprised me most about Building STEPS is the wide range of events that are held each year; not only for the students to participate in but also as a volunteer. Sometimes you can’t make something work with your schedule but it seems like there will be a variety of opportunities throughout the year and we are really excited to be able to participate in as many as we can.

Carson: One thing that surprised me the most was how well the Building STEPS program and students have been able to adapt to this new virtual world. Building STEPS has mastered how to create engaging and thoughtful sessions, for both students and volunteers, so they are able to make the most out of each event; even if we cannot all be together in person.

What methods do you use to promote volunteerism within Northrop Grumman?

Marjorie: We use a variety of methods to promote volunteerism within Northrop Grumman. As stated on our NG website, we encourage employees to support the local community through volunteerism and we reward their efforts with community service grants to the organization for which they volunteer. Not to mention, Northrop Grumman’s philanthropic initiatives focus on building meaningful partnerships that transform our communities. Working with our dynamic partners, we strive to support the diverse needs of the communities where we live and work through giving from the company, the Northrop Grumman Foundation and employees. Whether tutoring students in math, preparing care packages for our troops, contributing to a company-sponsored drive or volunteering with a local nonprofit organization, the passions of our employees help transform our communities.

What trends do you see in corporate volunteerism?

Marjorie: Corporate volunteerism at Northrop Grumman starts with people. As proclaimed on our NG website, we are a company that advocates this towards the people we employ, the people in our communities and the people who may become part of our workforce. Together with our employees, we see more contributions towards volunteerism along with the strive to make the lives of the people in our communities better, safer and more successful by contributing our time, talent, funding and passion to strengthening the communities in which we work and live. Providing a warm meal to someone in need, introducing a child to the wonders of STEM, helping service members transition to new careers, making our parks and waterways clean and safe; this is the heart of what we do.

Tell us about a Building STEPS volunteer experience that was the most memorable for you? (Responses are from an individual perspective, and not representing the company)

Mithil: The most memorable Building STEPS volunteering experience for me has to be the College Scholarship Essay Workshop. This was because I had the pleasure to go into 1 on 1 virtual breakout rooms with students to guide them about college essay topics, their professional goals, and the personal challenges they had to overcome. To me, it’s honestly just the ability to get to know and connect with the student on a deeper level as an individual, and the fact that I am in a position to be a helping hand makes me very happy that I am involved with this organization. The hope is this can inspire others to help a wonderful cause as well.

Marjorie: My tenure with Building Steps falls into the “short” status as I only connected with this benevolent company less than six months ago. That said, their mission is what attracted me, and all that I have witnessed to date is what keeps me committed. Being given the opportunity to share my experiences and advice to an attentive classroom provides me with hope and expectation that “something” will stick with each student. It may not seem relevant in the moment – but hopefully it is filed in the back of each student’s mind – and they are able to bring it forth at a time of need. I look forward to a future opportunity, when the risk of the pandemic is behind us, and I have the opportunity for more conversation and greater engagement.

I will also say, the leadership of the Building Steps organization, with whom I have had the pleasure to work, is enormously talented and committed to the mission of their program. It has been a true opportunity to work in concert with that team.

Building STEPS offers many opportunities for volunteers to make an impact on a Baltimore City student’s life.