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Former Foster Youth Receive Laptops to Help Pursue Educational Goals

RALEIGH, N.C. (August 19, 2020) - Students need access to devices to excel in the “new normal” brought on by the pandemic. Thanks to a generous donation from Lenovo, ten students who are part of Wake Tech’s Fostering Bright Futures program received brand new laptops. These students, formerly in foster care, are now on their own and on their way to earning degrees at Wake Tech.

Several students picked up their new computers today at the Scott Northern Wake Campus. Wake Tech President Dr. Scott Ralls, Fostering Bright Futures Coordinator Michelle Blackmon, and Lisa Marie Ferrell, Head of Lenovo Public Relations, Communications, & Community Relations (North America), helped hand out the laptops as students sat in their cars.

“For many of us a laptop is an assumption,” Ralls said. “For many of these students the assumption is they can’t have this kind of equipment. Donations like this one from Lenovo help them overcome the technology hurdle.”

Blackmon said the generous donation will help Fostering Bright Futures students feel more at ease completing their classes online this semester.

“Without these laptops, many of our students would have struggled or even worse not attended classes at all during the pandemic,” Blackmon said.

The students are thrilled to receive the devices because many of them have been borrowing computers from friends or using their phones to complete class assignments.

“Getting a laptop is expensive, especially if you’re on a budget,” said Jordyn Lucas, Fostering Bright Futures student. “I love this computer, I’m going to use it every day!”

 

"Jordyn and all the incredible students we honored today deserve access to the critical technology essential in their educational experiences," Ferrell said. "We are thrilled to support the Wake Tech Fostering Bright Futures Program by donating Lenovo IdeaPads and we are excited to see the technology in the hands of these future leaders."

This is the second year of a three year commitment from Lenovo to contribute a total of 30 laptops (10 per year). The global technology company also donated 100 laptops for Wake Tech students struggling with remote learning in response to COVID-19. 

Fostering Bright Futures is a public-private partnership that provides tutoring, mentoring, and financial support to help former foster youth pursue higher education. Statistically, less than three percent of young adults aging out of foster care attend college and graduate. The program has helped many of them beat those odds and lead happier, more productive lives.

Fostering Bright Futures started in 2008 to help former foster care youth earn degrees from Wake Tech.  Currently, there are 42 students in the program. To date, 21 students have earned associate degrees: 8 of those have transferred to universities, 3 have earned bachelor’s degrees, 10 are working in their field of study (plumbing, dental assisting, early childhood education, cosmetology, medical assisting, advertising and graphic design, business administration, and banking). One student is on track to graduate in December 2020.

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