ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — A lack of access to technology will no longer be an obstacle to students in Essex County College’s Adult Learning Center thanks to Laptop Upcycle @ EssexCountyCollege-ALC, a partnership with Laptop Upcycle of Montclair.
“Our goal is to provide an initial 25 laptops and/or Wi-Fi devices to deserving students,” center Director Judith Celestin, adding that the program is accepting donations so as to make more laptops available as needed. “We are thrilled that this partnership will remove a barrier that many of our students run into when having to complete coursework at home. … Corporations and organizations as well as individuals can donate laptops to the Laptop Upcycle @ EssexCountyCollege-ALC program by emailing us at [email protected] as a way to support equitable access to technology and ensure our students are successful in their academic careers.”
The Adult Learning Center services approximately 400 students who are working toward their high school equivalency, U.S. citizenship or Microsoft Office certification, or taking English-as-a-second-language classes.
Jon Bonesteel, co-founder and treasurer of Laptop Upcycle, said the company is excited to be partnering with the ECC Adult Learning Center.
“The opportunity to share our mission of repurposing technology to help eliminate impediments to learning in the ALC community is a win for all concerned,” Bonesteel said.
The Laptop Upcycle lab team is training ECC staff in order to establish a hub on site where they will repair and upgrade unwanted laptops that can then be distributed to other ALC students in need of technology in order to complete classwork.
“We had provided laptops to the college on occasion in the past, especially when there was a real need for them during the COVID-19 pandemic. Going forward, the ECC team will assume the lead on campus. We are excited to share what we do with ECC and we look forward to supporting them,” Bonesteel said.
Celestin said students who receive the laptops can keep the devices.
“This partnership is another example of ‘students first’ at Essex County College,” she said.