On Monday, Orange County students begin their second quarter, and many continue with the online schooling option--LaunchED but according to a Winter Park high school teacher, there are still dozens of students in need of a computer.
“I’ve always said from the very beginning of teaching, every single student matters,” Kate Demory, a math coach said.
Aside from being a teacher, Demory is the founder of the non-profit organization, Army of Angels.
“Army of Angels is just about making stuff happen. When, where and how is needed to meet the need,” Demory said about their mission to provide a lending hand to those in need of clothes or a meal.
Demory is now taking on the mission to collect donated computers or tablets for students who need one.
After a month into the new school year, Demory realized students weren’t uploading assignments and getting bad grades because they didn’t have a computer to do their online schooling.
“It was defeating. It’s defeating for a student especially when they really wanna do well,” she said.
Demory said she even gave her own laptop to a student and soon after, there was a snowball effect.
“When more students kind of started trickling and asking for laptops, I realized we probably need to--I need to reach out to my army,” Demory added.
Demory’s Army of Angels, along with the company Aeras Technologies, joined forces to collect laptops and tablets back in September.
“I was like boom. Done! like schedule it. Book it. When can we do this?,” David Collins, CEO of Aeras Technologies said. “So, we scheduled the first event literally in our driveway.”
The two organizations will once again be holding a device drive event. Kate said about 50 students from her school still need a computer.
“Second quarter starts next Monday and how in the heck can students not have a device? blows my mind. So this is the right thing to do,” Collins said.
On Friday, October 9th, a team from Aeras Technologies and the Army of Angels will set up a spot at Audubon Pak school where they’ll be taking in used laptops and tablets from people who want to donate them.
Members of Aeras Technologies will immediately check the devices to see if it’s operational, clean the hard to make sure there is no personal or sensitive information on it and get it ready for distribution. Computers that cannot be fixed will be recycled.
“This is the next generation of our leaders, right?” Collins said. “Technology is not going away it’s only going to be more and more of their future in their life. So, it’s tremendously valuable to get them on board sooner than later.”
For Demory, it’s not just about providing an item.
“It’s not just all about the things anymore, you know, kids need to know that you care about them, and that they’re willing to do the work and walk the walk, and not just talk the talk and actually take some action,” Demory said.
It’s also about showing empathy and solidarity.
“The feeling of support that they get from that I think is almost is almost equal to the physical--the device itself,” Demory said. “Whether it’s a box of food, or bags of clothes, or school supplies, or anything, you know, it can change the trajectory for a young person really for the rest of their lives.”
The device drive event will be held at Audubon Park school in Orlando from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.