“On the day I became a citizen, my fifth-grade class joined me at the courthouse.”

While talking to a judge about US history, Gina Kirby found another calling: to support the military community.

I was adopted from Colombia as an infant, but my parents wanted me to wait until I was 11 years old before I became an American citizen, so I could understand and respect what it meant.

On the day I became a citizen, my fifth-grade class joined me at the courthouse. I sat in front of a judge and talked about the US history I’d been studying in school, the freedoms that come with being a US citizen, and how so many of those rights came at a cost.

The weight of that conversation stuck out in my mind. That’s why I feel a responsibility to support our military community. They’ve made a commitment to protect our freedoms and to serve the people in our country—including me.

And so when the question came if I could mentor service members as they transitioned to careers outside of the military, it was the least I could do. And I feel honored to do so.—Gina Kirby, from Fargo, North Dakota

Two women sit on a stone structure at a playground. They are smiling and it's a sunny day.

“Because she saw my potential, I was able to show her what kind of soldier I really was.”

Reservist Ashe Brasch’s former first sergeant Shannan Muench became one of her best friends. Their unlikely friendship sustained them both on their road from the military to Microsoft.
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“I thought that if I wanted to raise a family, I couldn’t be a working mom.”

Brittany Valdes struggled to find her place between two sometimes conflicting identities: motherhood and professional life. Now, she’s rewriting the narrative about working mothers.
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“The greatest investment she gave me was her time.”

Tareq Humphrey was born into a big southern family in a small Louisiana town. He didn't expect the most important influencer of his life to be his cousin—one of the first female black engineers at her company.

“The importance of creating inclusive technologies like the hybrid event room is deeply personal for me.”

During the pandemic, Experience Lead Sascha Ackermann and his team set out to make meetings and events more inclusive, for both remote and on-site teams. The result was Microsoft’s first hybrid event room.