WCE’s purpose is to serve young people in developing countries. Surprisingly, we sometimes achieve that goal by serving young people in the communities where our chapters are located.
STUDENT TECH CLUBS: We are piloting student tech clubs doing computer refurbishing near our chapters in Boston, Chicago, and Baltimore-Washington. In Boston, the club is at Andover High School in Andover, Massachusetts – 22 miles north of Boston. The student leader of this effort is Alice Yu. In Chicago, the club is at Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock, Illinois – 75 miles north of Chicago. The student leader of this effort is Ryan Burke and the faculty moderator is Steve Liggett. In Baltimore-Washington, the club is at Long Reach High School in Columbia, Maryland. We also have four student tech clubs in schools Puerto Rico that are now suspended until utilities return to the island.
One of our student volunteers, Jaylan Garrick, spoke about World Computer Exchange early in 2017 with members of his Alpha Achievers group at Hammond High School in Howard County. As a result, Achievers are now a regular presence at WCE’s monthly refurbishing events. To strengthen that link, Jaylan organized an event at Hammond where Achievers with few computer skills received basic instruction and immediately used that knowledge to inspect and repair equipment being prepared for shipment overseas.
In September 2017, a groups of young chapter volunteers started a youth tech club at Long Reach High School.
“This is the sort of youth-to-youth connection that we are encouraging throughout World Computer Exchange,” said WCE president Timothy Anderson. “In Puerto Rico, we have high school students driving our efforts to find equipment, to make it fully functional and to load it with the educational content that will make it most useful for young people. The more we can do to make computers valuable, the better off these communities will be.”
WCE volunteer leader Susan Schneider plans to bring WCE equipment and volunteers to her Samaritan Women clients. More information on this new Chapter project coming soon.
In June and July of 2016, WCE provided equipment for the Howard County educators who were organizing Girls Who Code events. And one of our student volunteers, Makayla Heintz, served as an assistant for the Girls Who Code summer camp.
In August 2015, WCE offered a presentation and training session to participants in Howard County’s Community Action Council summer youth program. This was organized by volunteer Susan Schneider.
In 2015, WCE visited the program that seeks to broaden opportunities for students at Meade High School in Anne Arundel County. “We’re happy to train people to refurbish equipment,” said Lou Hauf, head tech for WCE’s local chapter. “It gives them a skill that could lead to a rewarding career and it helps WCE prepare computers for the folks we’re helping overseas. Everybody wins!”
Currently WCE Chicago has 50-75% of their refurbishing volunteers from high schools. Our Coordinator, Jack O’Donnell reports that they are opening a youth led satellite Chapter at Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock, Illinois – 75 miles north of Chicago. The school has 735 students. The students have built a club – the Marian Central Catholic Computer Club (MC3). They have recruited volunteers, and gathered some used computers. The student leader of this effort is Ryan Burke. The club has an arrangement with another local school to receive 10% of the refurbished computers. Jack is providing tools, software, and parts and will soon provide the needed training in WCE refurbishing methodology and content loading. Read press article….
Computer Donors: Crystal Lake School District 47, Allstate, IPC Eagle, Manhard Consulting, Ltd., Amron Stair Works, US Post Company, Nova Fire Protection, and St. Margaret Mary Catholic School in Algonquin.
WCE Boston Chapter
Since 2000, our Boston Chapter has had a steady stream of excellent high school student volunteers helping with computer refurbishing. Our Laptop Coordinator, Polly Pook, reports that during the summer of 2017, one of our volunteers who is a student at Andover High School in Andover, Massachusetts started a student tech club at her home and has recently gotten approval from her school for the club to also meet at the school. The school has 1,738 students. This club focused on refurbishing laptops. They have recruited volunteers, and gathered some used computers. The student leader of this effort is Alice Yu. Polly is providing tools, software, and parts and has provided the needed training in WCE refurbishing methodology and content loading.
SubContract to World Vision
Under subcontract to World Vision Honduras, WCE sent Agustin Corchado and Juan Leon from STEM-IDEA at the University of Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras in 2016 for a two week pilot of a curriculum for training youths to refurbish computers. This eCorps trip was part of our contract with World Vision in which we also provided computers.
We plan to arrange with STEM-IDEA to have Agustin Corchado and Jan Leon provide similar training to what they did for WCE in Honduras for students from high schools near the UPR campus in Rio Piedras. Agustin Corchado is one of our Co-Coordinators for WCE-Puerto Rico.
Our Puerto Rico Chapter has four of our pilot schools that are developing youth training and refurbishing clubs inside their schools. You can read more about our schools pilot here. We are very pleased to be working closely with Fundación Kinesis.
We are currently seeking financial Sponsors at $12,500 per school to set up a WCE student tech club per school. This includes parts, tools, initial computers, training, WCE refurbishing methodology and forms, WCE educational content to load in the computers, and recruitment of business tech volunteers to come in as mentors and coaches.
The WCE Field Associates in Ethiopia, Mali, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe are exploring ways to develop student-led refurbishing and training chapters and student tech clubs in schools in their countries.
They will use WCE methodology. They plan to recruit Rotarians and other business volunteers to come in to the high school to be mentors and coaches to the students. This provides job skills training that could benefit the students when they seek jobs or want to repair computers on their own as a small business.
When funded, WCE and our Field Associate will provide parts, tools, initial computers, training, WCE refurbishing methodology and forms, WCE educational content to load in the computers, and recruitment of business tech volunteers to come in as mentors and coaches.