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Samsung Leaders Unite for a Cause and Sleep Outside on a Cold Night

12/15/2023

Samsung’s vision for corporate citizenship is encapsulated in the motto ‘Together For Tomorrow! Enabling People.’ We aim to contribute to a future where prosperity is accessible to everyone, particularly within our communities. That’s why Samsung Electronics America takes immense pride in our ongoing partnership with Covenant House New Jersey (CHNJ).

CHNJ is dedicated to addressing the complex problem of youth homelessness. Each year, an estimated 4.2 million young people in the U.S. experience a form of homelessness. CHNJ provides sanctuary and support for youth ages 18-21 facing homelessness. Throughout their New Jersey locations, including Atlantic City, Newark, Jersey City, Camden, Asbury Park, and specialized care in Montclair and Elizabeth, CHNJ annually serves around 4,585 youth, and notably, all their services are provided free of charge.

That’s why for the seventh consecutive year, members of the Samsung Electronics America leadership team braved the elements to participate in the Covenant House Sleep Out: Executive Edition, hosted for the first time at MetLife Stadium this year! This annual initiative not only raises essential funds but also amplifies awareness about the plight of homeless youth. It’s also a cause that resonates deeply with Samsung employees, who have consistently supported CHNJ’s mission through previous Sleep Out events and our Samsung Gives Day of Service activities.

Here’s what Samsung leadership had to say about the experience:

“As President & CEO, I am committed to continuing to support the Covenant House Sleep Out,” said KS Choi, President and CEO, Samsung Electronics North America. “I believe that as a company, it is our obligation to leverage our brand power, recognition and success to support the communities where we live and work. I was proud to participate in this event with my fellow executives – Matthew Dean, Renzo Villavicencio, Nick DiPonzio and Juni Cho – as collectively, we were able to raise nearly $50,000 to not only raise awareness for youth homelessness, but also much needed funds for Covenant House to help kids in need. And while we only spent just one night braving the elements, it was a humbling experience and we left understanding what millions of children experience every night and the importance of our ongoing support.”

“The experience of sleeping out on the streets was incredibly humbling and eye-opening. I gained a new appreciation for the challenges that young people facing homelessness face every day,” said Renzo Villavicencio, VP, Process Innovation and Procurement, Samsung Electronics America. “It’s important to recognize that there are many complex factors contributing to youth homelessness, including poverty, mental health issues, family conflict, and lack of affordable housing. To address this problem, I believe we need a multi-faceted approach that involves providing access to safe and affordable housing, investing in mental health services and support programs, and working to strengthen families and prevent youth from becoming homeless in the first place.”

“I had a hard life growing up, but nowhere near as rough as these kids, who face living on the streets.  I have been quite lucky and feel like I owe it to society to help the most vulnerable,” said Matthew Dean, SVP, Direct-to-Consumer Division, Samsung Electronics America. “The sleeping out part was tough because of the cold, but I enjoyed hearing the stories of youth helped by Covenant House New Jersey. It really showed me that they make a difference.”

“This is my third year in participating in the Covenant House Sleep Out and each year it has been a cumulative experience of bringing family, friends, and colleagues together to support a common goal,” said Nick Di Ponzio, VP, People Team, Samsung Electronics America. “When we hear of the journeys from the ‘kids’ whom we have been blessed to meet – their stories of defeat, insecurity, bravery, optimism, and ultimate resilience to help those around them – they have had a profound effect on me in appreciating and making the most of what we have. As a leader in Human Resources, I believe there is an opportunity to continue building on the great efforts of the team by further amplifying job opportunities and promoting self-reliance, which I will contribute to going forward.”

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