Changemakers, Our Work for Students

Community Partners Provide Laptops to Students Heading Off to College

The majority of Champions For Learning’s 75 recent graduates are headed off to college this fall, in fact several have even begun their next chapter this summer to get a jump on the year ahead.

You might remember back to last summer when Collier County Public Schools launched an initiative to provide all students with laptops for the 2020-2021 school year. The initiative, called Collier Connect, was planned prior to COVID-19, but the pandemic expedited the process so each student would have access to technology to continue learning seamlessly both at school and at home. The program, a major district venture and a huge accomplishment, provided laptops that would stay with the district’s 48,000+ students throughout their time at CCPS.

What many graduating seniors didn’t realize was that their school district-supplied laptop would need to be returned to the school district shortly after graduation, leaving several students in desperate need of this—rather pricey—school supply.

Today, a laptop truly is a necessary school supply for any college student. And at Champions For Learning, we are committed to ensuring that our graduated seniors that are heading to college students have access to any and all state-of-the-art technology available.

Champions was honored to receive a grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County that supported the purchase of nine brand new laptops. A long-time, cherished volunteer, Tom Gamber, purchased and refurbished fifteen additional laptops. In total, twenty-four graduated seniors received laptops, several just in time before beginning their summer semester.

Tracy, a recent graduate of Lely High School who had just turned in her CCPS laptop two days prior, was grateful to the donors who made it possible for her to receive her own laptop before heading to Florida SouthWestern State College in the fall to study Healthcare Administration, adding that “this is going to be a huge help at school!”

Laptops give students the flexibility and freedom they need to work on academic assignments anytime—anywhere, a convenient luxury. No matter where they are, a laptop allows college students the ability to bring their schoolwork with them. And with most college wireless networks, students are able to connect to the internet via their laptop from anywhere.

We can all remember going off to college like it was yesterday. We get our first taste of freedom when we get our driver’s license, but going to college is when we got to really experience independence. Maybe you felt excited, nervous or maybe even relieved. Most likely, you were finally out on your own and it felt great. Now, equipped with the laptops and technology they’ll need to succeed, these Champions For Learning’s students will feel great too.