Student Leader Redefines WCE Refurbishing Club
June 3, 2019
Alice Yu is just like any other junior in high school. However, her passions for both tech and volunteerism helped her become a student leader of two successful WCE refurbishing clubs near Boston.
The Computer Fusion Club meets once a month at the high school, while another group meets once a month at Yu’s home. She first learned of WCE when she was searching for a place to donate her used laptops.
“What attracted me to WCE is that, by refurbishing and repairing the recycled computers, WCE reduces pollution, conserves resources, and helps youth worldwide,” Yu said. “From my experience of working for WCE, I feel that it is not only meaningful but also exciting, which gives me a chance to disassemble and repair computers.”
One of the biggest challenges Alice has faced in leading the club is getting volunteers to work efficiently. To combat this, she guides volunteers through the refurbishing process, paying special attention to their individual interests and skills.
“Usually, I will follow the newcomers and guide them through the process of refurbishing computers,” Yu said. “I work with the volunteers together, answer their questions, and solve their troubles.”
As club president, Yu finds it important to be familiar with every step in the refurbishing process and capable of troubleshooting various technical issues. By encouraging and guiding fellow volunteers, Yu ensures that the club provides a challenging and safe working environment.
Each WCE Refurbishing Club is under the local WCE Chapter. The Andover clubs are under WCE-Boston. Pamela Cooney, the Boston Chapter Coordinator, is enthusiastic about Yu’s work.
“Alice is so professional and dedicated. She is a remarkable student leader.” Cooney said.
WCE’s work with high school students like Yu are made possible through donations from sponsors. One such sponsor, Carla Bregman, met Yu during a visit to one of WCE-Boston’s refurbishing sites.
“I was impressed by the ease with which she solved technical issues encountered by other volunteers and as well as by her friendliness, as important an asset as her expertise in enabling others to feel comfortable with their tasks,” Bregman said. “I very much enjoyed meeting Alice and think she is doing amazing work that is vital to the progress of WCE and that can inspire other students to undertake similar initiatives.”
Under Yu’s leadership, the two clubs have processed 150 laptops, some of which have gone to Tanzania, Ghana and India. She even sold components salvaged from damaged laptops on eBay, raising over $2,500 to support WCE’s operations. Though being a leader and student is time-consuming, Yu feels gratified from her work.
“When the re-born computers have been packed and are ready to ship, it always makes me feel that I am a part of something greater than myself,” Yu said. “My favorite thing about the club is that our work turns trash into treasure and gives them to people in need.”
Read more about WCE’s Youth Skills project here.