The latest gadgets and tech gifts are on many wish lists during the holidays, but this year some local teens who don’t even have basic computers will get laptops to help enhance their education.
On Dec. 15, Neighbors empowering youth will present laptops to ten teens from Flintridge Center’s Youth of Promise mentoring program, which pairs Washington Middle School students who have academic or other challenges with volunteer mentors, Neighbors Empowering Youth announced in a statement Wednesday.
The giveaway will happen at NEY’s Computer Technology Center at 1 p.m.
“A child without a computer is like a school without pencils,” said John Smith, NEY President & CEO, in the statement. “Kids who don’t have computers are at a disadvantage academically. Computers are essential tools for success in today’s information society.”
The used laptops, donated by Lockheed Martin, are refurbished by NYE to reduce e-waste.
Flintridge Center’s mentoring program focuses on Washington Middle School students with risk factors such as failing grades, high truancy and absentee rates and living in neighborhoods with gangs. Mentors are recruited from the Pasadena Police and Fire Departments, city agencies and businesses.
“The kids are really excited about getting the laptops,” said Flintridge Center Program Director Ricky Pickens, who oversees the mentoring program. “These are youth who struggle in school. The computers will help them keep up with their classes and boost their learning. We are grateful for NEY’s support.”
As part of the giveaway, NEY will present an Internet safety class to the teens’ parents that will cover sexting, cyber bullying and how to steer kids away from inappropriate websites.
NEY provides free computers and computer training to youth in Northwest Pasadena and Altadena and has given away more than 200 computers to date. They offer a variety of workshops for youth and adults at their Computer Technology Center and have also established computer labs at local community organizations and in two Pasadena schools.
What do you think of the computer giveaway? How important do you think computers are to education?