WEST CHESTER, PA — As the pandemic shuttered businesses and higher education in March, West Chester University students who lacked technology did not lack support. While staff in WCU Information Services and Technologies (IS&T) rallied resources –– and their own determination –– to ensure students could continue their courses remotely, the West Chester University Foundation was addressing needs from behind the scenes.
One of the early success stories involves nearly $20,000 in laptops donated by Lenovo through initial dialogue with Teresa Hudson, director of IS&T’s Educational Technologies & User Services. The IS&T Help Desk team was able to quickly configure and get these laptops to WCU students in need so that they could continue their coursework remotely. WCU proudly recognizes Lenovo for donating 26 laptops to students in the University’s Promise Program, which supports unaccompanied homeless and foster youth.
As WCU’s Single Point of Contact for unaccompanied foster and homeless youth, Tori Nuccio, interim associate director of Financial Aid, said that within a week of announcing the move to alternate modes of instruction, “We distributed some of these laptops to students who did not have their own computers. The Promise Program is extremely grateful to Lenovo and the team in IS&T who was able to set these laptops up for student use before our transition to remote work.”
The donation was coordinated through the WCU Foundation. Helen Hammerschmidt, director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for the foundation, cited the huge impact this collaboration offers the University’s most vulnerable students and said the donation came at a time “when so many of our students are in need of critical technology to stay on track with their education. Shining a light on this donation elevates not just Lenovo’s commitment to social responsibility, but also the plight of students across the country who lack the basic necessities we all take for granted.”
David Hamilton, Lenovo’s public relations lead, North America, noted that Lenovo’s inspiration to support the WCU Promise Program arose from the company’s commitment “to increasing access to opportunity by providing smarter technology to all. The students served through the Promise Program have faced significant adversity. We hope the technology provided will help them further their educational goals.”
Lenovo is a Fortune Global 500 company with 57,000 employees and operating in 180 markets around the world. Focused on a bold vision to deliver smarter technology for all, Lenovo is developing world-changing technologies that create a more inclusive, trustworthy and sustainable digital society. By designing, engineering and building the world’s most complete portfolio of smart devices and infrastructure, they are also leading an intelligent transformation to create better experiences and opportunities for millions of customers around the world.
Lenovo Foundation and Community Relations invests in advancing STEM Education programs, increasing access to opportunity for diverse populations, and empowering employees to improve global communities.
For an additional look at how businesses have helped WCU students adapt during the pandemic, as well as ways the University is helping the community, visit WCU’s Business and Community Partners webpage.
To support students’ technology needs, visit the Student Emergency Aid Fund.
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