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Summit Technology Academy students refurbish donated computers for refugees

Summit Technology Academy students are using their expertise to aid refugees in need.
Summit Technology Academy students are using their expertise to aid refugees in need. Submitted photo

It has become a cliché: If you want your computer fixed, ask a kid.

That’s essentially what a Kansas City nonprofit did after receiving a donation of recycled computers from a local business. Adults were around, however, to provide critical assistance.

KC for Refugees and Immigrants, which supplies computers to families in need, turned to Summit Technology Academy for help with the donated computers, which lacked hard drives, wireless cards and an operating system.

The job was daunting, but the students and their community partners are getting it done.

“These students are warmhearted and generous,” said International Studies teacher Curtis Cook. “They have given up time during the school year and during their summer to work on this project. This community service simply would not exist except for STA’s unique collection of community partners and the technical expertise of our students. … They are using their skills to truly impact their community.”

KC for Refugees and other community organizations bought the missing parts. Students in the Computer Networking class taught students in International Studies how to install hard drives and network drives.

In May, seven refurbished computers were given to graduating eighth-graders at the Kansas City International Academy. Last month, 10 more computers were donated to youths through KC for Refugees.

KC for Refugees founder Sofia Khan said the computers will be useful as the recipients do homework, prepare for college entrance exams and participate in other educational activities.

“Seeing the kids after getting their computers made the entire event even better,” said Lee’s Summit High School senior Eden Davis. “I got to talk to a couple of the kids receiving the computers, and they were so sweet and excited.”

Lee’s Summit High School senior Ryan Hampton said the experience inspired him to continue helping the refugee community.

“Seeing the kids receive something that promotes educational opportunity was an experience that I will not forget for the rest of my life,” Hampton said.

This month, Somali refugees will receive 20 computers at their back to school event, but the STA students need 18 hard drives and 17 wireless cards to get them ready. To donate, search “KC 4 Refugees Computer Supplies” in Amazon’s registry database.