Susan Wojcicki Tries to Close the Book on Global Illiteracy With Nonprofit

With literacy and Google so intertwined — users must read in order to navigate through article and video searches — Susan Wojcicki is dedicated to advancing educational charity Room to Read. Wojcicki, CEO of Google’s YouTube video platform, is proud of the insight her company can deliver, and wants to ensure everyone can access it.

“What attracted me to Google is that information is a way for people to empower themselves,” says Wojcicki, who started at the company in 1999 before being named CEO of YouTube in 2014.

It is a natural extension of her love of facts that drew her to Room to Read.

“Literacy is such an important skill for everyone in the world, and it’s a shame that we have illiterate people today,” she says. “Room to Read is one of the organizations that is making a real dent and making a big effort towards improving literacy across the globe.”

Pamela Littky for Variety

Room to Read wants to stamp out illiteracy, which impacts 800 million people worldwide, and provide all children with a quality education. According to the organization, 171 million people would be lifted out of poverty if all children had an education.

Wojcicki also relates to Room to Read’s commitment to ensure gender equality in education.

“Girls who are in the program are usually the first people in their family who have ever checked out a book from a library or are the first people in their family to go onto secondary school and to universities,” Wojcicki says.

Her Google colleagues have likewise noticed the strong link between their work and the charity, “and organically we have seen a lot of people (from Google) gravitate toward the organization. There are so many shared values between the two, as they are enabling people to become empowered.”

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