image of Howard Hua at work repairing a computer

Howard Hua: Leads WCE Refurbishing Club in Atlanta

November 13, 2020

Howard Hua, a junior at Wheeler High School in Atlanta, first became involved in WCE two years ago during a donation drive, in which he helped load 80 computers. Inspired by this experience, Howard used his interest in technology to lead his own refurbishing club, Wheeler Technical Community, at his high school. 

Wheeler Technical Community was a preexisting club that was revived under Howard’s leadership. As the club’s president, Howard turned the group into a WCE refurbishing club, spearheading a 15-person operation that repairs and refurbishes computers. In the last year alone, the club has refurbished over 50 computers for WCE.

Standing in front of shelves of electronic equipment, Howard Hua, a high school junior from Atlanta, shows the computers that he has collected and refurbished.

Leading such a large operation can be difficult, especially when keeping students motivated. However, Howard has managed to overcome that obstacle. 

“Although most members put in a significant amount of effort every other week to repair computers, I have found that starting free giveaways of technology WCE cannot use keeps students motivated and working diligently,” Howard said.

The club meets for a few hours every month, during which they can install software for 8-12 computers and repair 2-4 broken computers. Having experienced these difficult tasks, Howard believes patience is essential for managing the club.

“Most of the contacting I make with others both in school and out can take upwards of multiple weeks, so I must constantly remind myself to be patient and wait for responses.”

image of Howard Hua at work repairing a computer
Focused in his work, Howard carefully refurbishes a computer that will eventually be shipped to youth in developing countries.

In addition to computer repairs, Howard also manages donations. Soliciting equipment is one of Howard’s favorite aspects of his role.

“I get excited when I get in contact with companies who are willing to donate their old technology to a great cause,” Howard said. “I will usually spend a lot of time planning out donations so that our school club always has fresh computers ready to be repaired or refurbished.”

Through this experience, Howard has developed invaluable skills, including computer repair, fundraising, and leadership. This aligns with the intentions of WCE’s Youth Skills program, which aims to provide technology and leadership development to youth in the US.

 “I am most proud that I restarted a dying tech club at my school,” Howard said. “I have learned that hard work almost always pays off with reward, and this year has marked the first year our school’s club has made an impact on the local and international community.” 

Learn more about WCE’s Youth Skills project here.