San Juan Diego students surround crates filled with electronics donated by Tech Defenders. Photo via fb.com
A local tech firm is working to bridge the “digital divide” for students in underserved communities.
Tech Defenders, a Grand Rapids-based tech company, officially launched its newly developed giveback initiative, aimed at providing technology resources to local schools and organizations in its service areas.
Shortly after opening its expanded headquarters early in 2019, the company donated 200 laptops and iPads to San Juan Diego Academy, an elementary school in Wyoming whose students are predominantly Hispanic. According to the school’s administrators, the majority of their students live in neighborhoods with high dropout rates, and where few go to college.
Tech Defenders CEO Garry VonMyhr said the experience gave him and his team a glimpse into the lack of technology in certain pockets of the community. He challenged his team to design an official giveback program in order to close the “digital divide” found in these underserved communities.
“As a team, we saw how very visible this digital divide is, and with our unique capabilities to refurbish used technology, we felt we could use these means to meet the technology needs of our community,” VonMyhr said. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to do our small part in providing resources to schools or organizations that are making a positive impact.”
The newly-launched program is designed to select one recipient organization per quarter, with the assistance of an internal committee made up of its employees. The company is seeking to partner with organizations that bridge the digital divide for underserved communities or for educational purposes. Interested groups can apply online at https://www.techdefenders.com/donations/.