These days it’s hard to get much done without a computer – they fuel our work, our interactions with the job market, and our communications with those we love, both at home and abroad. Due to the high demand for affordable access to personal computers, CEF – in partnership with the Kramden Institute (http://kramden.org/) and Technology Without Borders (TWB) – launched a new program at the start of the 2011 academic year: the Laptop Individual Development Account (IDA).
Participants in the Laptop IDA have been asked to meet several critical requirements: attending 2 CEF Opportunity Classes, 2 TWB Computer Literacy Classes, and then 2 additional classes from either CEF or TWB; passing a “laptop diagnostic” test that showcased skills learned in TWB classes; and saving $75. This amount made up half the cost of a refurbished laptop graciously provided by the Kramden Institute, a Durham non-profit that works to bridge the digital divide for disadvantaged populations.
Since the program’s inception, 10 CEF Members have “graduated” with their own laptops. These ten laptops have helped send Members to school or back to school, helped with one Member’s kids’ homework, allowed for extra job-searching, and made possible communication with far-away family members. CEF is hoping to see this program continue and expand in the near future and would like to thank all the partners, Members, and Advocates who have helped make the pilot successful!
If you’re interested in the Laptop IDA program, or would like to learn more about CEF in general, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.