EOC Computer Recycling
In the fall of 2004, Lorain County Community College Professor Hikmat Chedid saw a gap in our world. “I had many students,” recalled Chedid, who teaches Computer Systems and Electronic Engineering Technology, “who didn’t have a computer at home to do their work on.” Chedid labeled this absence - “The Digital Divide.”
That digital divide became an economic divide. “We have students who can’t afford a computer,” said Chedid. “That means their children won’t be exposed to a computer at home either. It is a cycle that won’t end.” So, Chedid, and his partners in LCCC’s Advanced Technologies Division came up with a plan. “At first,” he remembered, “we took a computer out to community centers, churches and low-income housing projects. We would show people how to operate it, fix it and generally try to make them comfortable. It was a show-and-tell type of thing.” Chedid quickly realized that wasn’t going to be enough. LCCC’s Computer Recycling Program was born.
This fall, the Computer Recycling Program completed its 14th phase of handing out computers, free, to qualified recipients. In the four years of the program’s existence, Chedid says they have handed out in excess of 1,600 computers.
Local businesses, LCCC and even individuals donate computers to Chedid’s program. His advanced computer maintenance and networking students refurbish the computers and make them available, for free, to needy people pursuing an education. “This process,” said Chedid, “benefits the businesses through a tax break, the environment because it saves these computers from a land fill and our computer maintenance students because it gives them valuable, real world, work experience.”
How do you qualify to receive a free, refurbished, computer? “You must need a computer at home to do school work,” said Chedid. It doesn’t have to be schoolwork at LCCC. “You must also,” he continued, “be someone who demonstrates financial need.”
In the end, the Computer Recycling Program is working toward one goal – closing that digital and economic divide. “If you can’t afford a computer system,” finished Chedid, “and you want to pursue college, knowing that all college courses require some work done on a computer, LCCC wants to make sure you have an opportunity.”
If you are interested in this program, contact the Engineering Technologies Division office at 440.366.4005.