Have you ever found yourself with old computers or accessories you do not want or need? Some people simply dispose of them, others try and sell them, but most just let them collect dust not knowing what to do. Amy Vu and Demetrius Norman of the NWLA Makerspace saw this as an opportunity to give back to the community and bridge the digital divide. They are working to build the community by bringing together those that have old computers and those that need them.
Amy Vu is a mathematics professor that recently got her master’s degree in Computer Systems Technology from LSUS. She has been the driving force behind the Computer Recycling Program with the support of the NWLA Makerspace’s President, Demetrius Norman. Demetrius is a Shreveport native that graduated from Grambling and moved into the technology field for his career and has focused on community building through the Makerspace. Between the two of them they have created a program that not only focuses on getting people the tools they need but also teaching them how they work.
The Computer Recycling Program works to get computers in the hands of students and residents of Northwest Louisiana. Students affected by school closures may not have access to adequate computers that allow them to remote learn. Amy and Demetrius want to make sure all area students have equal access to learning so they do not fall behind. Residents can also apply for computers to be used for job searches or possible work from home positions that they would not be able to acquire without the computers. The organization gave out its first computer on June 3rd; as of November 13, they have given out 85 computers. Applicants can apply at their website nwlamakerspace.org.
The best way to get involved is to donate old desktops, laptops or accessories to the organization. Amy and her team will work to repair, delete old data, and clean up the devices. Once complete they will find a qualified applicant and deliver the devices to them. In addition to hardware, the organization also needs donations for cleaning supplies and replacement parts. Volunteers are also welcome to help repair and clean the devices. To find out how you can get involved, visit the website at nwlamakerspace.org or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mack Slaughter | Trust Technology Consultants, LLC