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Thursday, June 16, 2011

An Investment In Learning - One Learner At A Time

On Monday of this week I accompanied one of our seniors to a reception, during which he received a gift of a laptop computer to assist him when he enters college next September. The donation was made possible by a generous, forward thinking man in the area who is sensitive to the financial challenges facing many graduates as they work to invent their futures through higher education. The man who has spearheaded this valuable venture has used his role in public service to coordinate with computer technicians and civic oriented businesses to provide upgraded, refurbished laptops to nine deserving, college bound seniors representing three different high schools in the immediate area. The computers were made available via the financial support of businesses in the region who recognize the vital difference a computer can make in the hands of a learner. The volunteer technicians loaded the computers with the software necessary for college learners to tackle assigned tasks. In addition, if the recipients of the computers encounter any difficulties with the units, they can contact the provider who will then have the technicians service the laptop.

These laptops are incentives designed to support the learner and sustain their commitment to obtaining a college degree. The graduates had to provide evidence of an acceptance letter to college and a commitment signed by their parents to replace/return the laptop in the event that the learner did not successfully complete their first year of college.

All nine learners appeared sincerely grateful for the investment made in their future. If their facial expressions were any indication, they were very appreciative as they were presented the gift. Each learner announced the college they were attending and their respective major areas of study. Our representative expressed a desire to pursue engineering. In fact, when I saw him today he was excited to explain to me that the laptop contained special programming specific to engineering. Furthermore, he was already developing an excel spreadsheet for a program he was developing at his work site. I believe this laptop will not only help him financially by sparing him the added expense as he finances his education, but it will also further his learning by offering a potent instructional tool that is a necessity in college today.

I applaud the generosity and vision of the organization that has now experienced three years of extending laptops to graduating seniors. This investment will likely lead to generating opportunities for learners who might otherwise struggle financially to acquire a computer and suffer educationally without a computer.

This is a great example of an individual developing an idea and collecting like-minded people who cooperate to leverage success in the future by investing in individual learners. Their gifts of laptops will fuel the educational pursuits of these nine graduates.

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