As an attorney on HP's legal team in Germany, Katrin Mondon supports various HP businesses to ensure everything from contracts to marketing materials are in line with the law. She also applies her knowledge and skill in local schools as a volunteer for HP Germany's legal pro bono program.
In 2009, the HP Legal team set a goal for at least half of its U.S. employees to volunteer an average of 20 hours of pro bono work a year. In 2010, when HP expanded the program to various countries around the world, Katrin and her colleagues joined in. They decided to use their blend of expertise in technology and law to create a mentoring program for young people about risks they are facing using the Internet. "Most kids in Germany have one thing in common, no matter their age or race—they use the Internet," says Katrin.
They developed the program to focus on specific areas of risk in the online world for children and young adults between the ages of 12–23. It covers topics such as Internet piracy, avoiding fraud, and freedom of speech. Over the course of the year, Katrin and her colleagues mentored about 300 students and even held evening sessions to help educate their parents and teachers.
When they first began, Katrin and her colleagues had to reach out to schools to advertise their program. Now the schools are sending requests to them, and the number of HP volunteers participating in the program in Germany has increased from 7 to 17. They are considering extending the program to include HP colleagues from other businesses and functions, such as IT, human resources, or marketing.
Katrin's personal motivation for continuing the program is simple. "It's great to see the impact you've had on the kids," she says. "Plus, it's fun. We learn as much from the kids as they learn from us."