The Inspiration Behind Network Zen Foundation

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For as long as I can remember, my parents gave me everything I wanted. If I wanted the newest G.I Joe action figure, my parents would take me to the closest Kay-Bee Toy store or Toys R Us to go pick it out. If I wanted the new Nike Jordans, my parents would take me to the closest Foot Locker or Champs store as soon as they came out. In short, you can pretty much say I was spoiled.

These memories are only a portion of what I recall from my childhood. You would think since I had an entire room dedicated to toys, that they would be my only memories. But it wasn’t just me; my siblings always got what they wanted too. When we needed new clothes to keep up with changing fashion styles, my parents would drive us all to the mall. We were so spoiled, in fact, that we all got brand new cars when we came of age. That’s the type of people my parents were. They gave their children almost anything their hearts desired, and, boy, did we profit from their generosity.

But, it wasn’t spoiling their kids that intrigued me so much about my parents. Some of the most revealing memories that I have of my parents’ generosity was how we would go shopping for those less fortunate. I remember going to Mervyn’s to purchase 20 pairs of Levi 501 Jeans and taking trips to Costco and Sam’s Club to fill up three shopping carts with dry food, canned goods, and candy for those in need.

When I asked my parents why they shopped so much, they replied that there are people across the world who cannot afford nice things –not even a bag of M&M’s or a Snicker’s bar. I then proceeded to go out to the backyard to play with my G.I. Joes. It wasn’t until I was awakened at midnight one night to the sound of 3×4 boxes being put together and stuffed with all that candy, clothing, and toys that I realized that they were giving it all away to those less fortunate. They were packing up these boxes to be sent to people in need in the Philippines.

During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, I saw my opportunity to give back to the community as my parents did so long ago. I knew that challenges would arise from the outdated technology that schools were sending their students home with. Worse yet, I knew that some students had no access to the internet at all.

I can’t say that I am just like my parents or that I inherited all their traits. But it is because of these past experiences that I choose to give back to the community today. Founding a successful IT company like Network Zen helped me realize that providing educational technology solutions to students who cannot afford them would be my contribution.

As an IT Sales Professional, I’m always hunting for the next big sale. Closing a deal is a great feeling, but it’s nothing compared to the memories I have of my parents giving back to those who needed help.

The constant need for something bigger lives in all of us and, for me, that something bigger is giving back to a community that has supported my family, my employees, and my company.

Michael Mabini

Michael Mabini