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Computers for Student Success celebrates 5,000th computer donation

Through the program, TCC’s Computer Club members rehabilitate and update older or in-need of repair PCs and laptops donated by companies and individuals and get them into the hands of students, families and nonprofits in Hampton Roads.

In addition to its service to the community, the club provides valuable hands-on experience to club members, many of whom are information technology majors at the college.

The program, which operates under the direction of information technology professor Gary Noah, is headquartered at TCC’s Virginia Beach Campus. “That is 5,000 computers in four years and five months,” he said. “We’re on track for another record year after doing 1,800 last year. We might make it to 2,000 computers this year. It could not have happened without the support of the entire college.

“I’m very proud that our students and faculty are working to remove barriers to higher education,” President Edna Baehre-Kolovani said. “Their success is remarkable.”

All services are free. The program uses a detailed application process to select student recipients.

Currently, the club provides 1,800 computers a year to TCC students and has expanded to assist nonprofits, local social service agencies and their clients, area schools and women’s shelters. Campostella Elementary School, The Beach House, Seton House Youth Shelters and The Judeo-Christian Outreach Center are recent recipients of refurbished computers.

The program works with area businesses to obtain tax-deductible donations of computers and is able to refurbish approximately 95 percent of them. More than $1 million worth of gift-in-kind donations have been provided; Sentara Healthcare is among the most generous donors to the program.

Created in the fall of 2009, Computers for Student Success gave away 800 computers that year to TCC students.

The program has received numerous honors for its work, including a gold medallion from the Computerworld Honors Program in 2012. The Computerworld Honors Program recognizes individuals and organizations that create and use information technology to promote and advance public welfare, contribute to the greater good of society and change the world for the better.

The program also is a past recipient of the Innovative Student Service Award from the Virginia Community College Student Leadership Conference.