Every day this November, employees at Boingo Wireless are dropping and doing 22 pushups.
It’s part of an initiative for Veterans Day at the Los Angeles internet company, where staff members are coming together to bring awareness to the 22 veterans lost to suicide every day, a number that’s based off of data collected by the Department of Veterans Affairs from 2012.
Fernando Valdivia is one of the organizers of the event. The IT supervisor is also a proud U.S. Army veteran and a founding member of the company’s employee resource group Boingo Veterans. The group takes on volunteer projects and works with organizations like Veterans Job Exchange and Vets2PM, which support veterans in their civilian career path.
For Valdivia, doing 22 pushups every day this November is a chance to shed light on an important issue.
“It’s a small gesture to raise awareness and educate others on mental health,” he said.
At Boingo Wireless, Valdivia feels like he’s giving back to the veteran and military community, of which he himself is a part of. The internet company is the largest provider of Wi-Fi and IPTV broadband services for the barracks and dorms on U.S. Army, Air Force and Marines bases around the world. It also supports a variety of veteran organizations.
What steps has your company taken to hire more veterans?
Some of our most talented Boingoites are veterans. I’m proud to be one of them and work for a company where veterans are represented and help shape the culture. We work with organizations like Veterans Job Exchange and Vets2PM to build our workforce and support veterans in their civilian career path. Leadership, creativity, problem solving and the ability to adapt are just a few of the traits veterans possess. It’s these traits that translate well for moving Boingo’s business forward.
It’s rewarding to work for a company that innovates solutions to help keep our troops connected.’’
What internal resources do you have in place to support and empower the veterans on your team?
Our resources start from the top with veteran executives who apply their military leadership skills, like accountability and strong work ethic, to the way we do business. We also have Boingo Veterans, an employee resource group that offers mentoring and support and takes on volunteer projects like food and clothing drives for veterans in need. I’m a founding member of the group and help lead events around Military Appreciation Month and Veterans Day.
This year for Veterans Day, we’re organizing the “22 Pushup Challenge,” where Boingoites do 22 pushups per day throughout the month of November to bring awareness to the 22 veterans lost to suicide every day. It’s a small gesture to raise awareness and educate others on mental health.
What external initiatives do you support or have in place that help bring more veterans into the tech industry?
Boingo is the largest provider of Wi-Fi and IPTV broadband services for the barracks and dorms on U.S. Army, Air Force and Marines bases around the world. As a veteran, it’s rewarding to work for a company that provides services to the military and innovates solutions that help keep our troops connected. As part of our work on military bases, we engage with base staffing agencies to help soldiers and Marines transition to civilian work. Many of them know Boingo for the Wi-Fi we deliver and are excited to hear about career opportunities.