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Vance High students show off the laptops they rebuilt during spring break.

Vance High students show off the laptops they rebuilt during spring break.

Article by Meredith Avant

According to the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, one in five Charlotte students must use computers at the public library to complete homework assignments because there are none in their homes, while 50 million computers go to landfills in America every year. One man’s trash can most certainty be another man’s treasure.

James Walker encourages businesses to think outside of the box while helping bridge the digital divide. Over spring break, Walker’s company, Informative Technologies, partnered with Electrolux to conduct a four-day technology internship for 21 Vance High Academy of Engineering students.

Informative Technologies, headquartered in the PORTAL Building at UNC Charlotte, creates solutions to the Digital Divide using open-source software, sustainably sourced hardware, and community-based partnerships. During the spring-break technology internship, Vance High students worked with donated older computers and hard drives to learn IT skills. Students got to keep the laptops they had rebuilt during the internship.

Next up – full summer internships

After the success of the spring-break internship, Informative Technologies is looking to grow this opportunity. Aiming to bridge the digital divide in Charlotte, Informative Technologies feels every student in Charlotte should learn basic tech/IT skills that could propel them in the future.

Coming soon to our community: a summer internship for youth between 16 and 24, targeting Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Central Piedmont Community College students. Instead of a four-day program, this internship will take place over the summer, giving students time to explore all the possibilities of job skills and training in the IT field.

Want to get involved in closing the Digital Divide? CONTACT US to learn more.

• About Meredith Avant – Meredith is a UNC Charlotte senior majoring in communications with a concentration in public relations.

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