Google Community Leaders

Ethan Rosenberg is a junior at Loyola University New Orleans, where he’s participated in Google’s Community Leaders Program for the past two years. The CLP is focused on creating a sustainable web ecosystem and increasing digital literacy by connecting communities, businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits with local student talent. Below, Ethan describes his experiences in the program, which is currently recruiting NYU students for its Harlem chapter.

For the past two years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with the Google Community Leaders Program in New Orleans. When our team first came together in September 2012, we were briefed with the following statistic:

Ninety-seven percent of internet users look online for local products, services, or charitable opportunities, yet 64 percent of businesses in Louisiana do not have a website.

If the vast majority of people are searching for local products and services online, and a business doesn’t have a web presence, they are virtually invisible in the eyes of the consumer.

So, 16 of us from four universities were split into four teams, and each team was assigned to a neighborhood in New Orleans. We were tasked with getting as many businesses online as we could leading up to Super Bowl XLVII in February 2013.

We started by canvassing our neighborhoods for businesses and working with the business owners to get them on Google Maps and using Google Tools. By February 2013, the CLP had empowered 160 businesses to get online!

As we’ve continued our work, and as the program has expanded, I’ve been able to combine my passion for music with the mission of the CLP. I now lead a team that teaches musicians how to expand their business by empowering them to use internet tools.

Through the work that my team has done with the CLP, the Mayor’s Office of New Orleans approached me to organize a series of presentations and workshops for the musicians of New Orleans to better understand the business of music.

Additionally, while I’ve been involved with the CLP, I’ve co-organized the first two Startup Weekend events in New Orleans, the second of which was a featured as part of Google’s Global Entrepreneurship Week!

The Community Leaders Program has been an amazing opportunity to get involved in the community. The program combines community engagement work with professional development, and gives individuals an opportunity to be a part of something greater than themselves.

Interested in being a Google Community Leader in Harlem during the 2014–2015 school year? Apply today! through the website or on CareerNet, Job ID: 924742. Applications are due by Friday, April 4th, 2014. Please note that participants will be required to commit 10 hours per week to CLP-related work.

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