For kCura, giving back to the community isn’t just lip service, it’s a concerted effort to help Chicago schools improve their technology offerings. What began as a donation to a different charity each month has evolved over the past couple of years into a program called kCura Gives whose major initiative is called One School at a Time.
[ibimage==22865==Large==none==self==ibimage_align-center]Image via kCura's Facebook page.
Each school year, based on criteria such as need, employee referrals, passion of the staff and other informal measurements, kCura commits $150,000 to $250,000 to bring technology to a single school in Chicago. This year’s beneficiary is Harper High School, located in Englewood, a neighborhood known for its crime.
“Focusing on a single mission—technology and education for underserved students in Chicago—allows us to focus our efforts and have a greater impact on a few organizations rather than minimal impact on many,” says CEO Andrew Sieja. “We also love technology and we love this city, so we want to contribute to something we’re passionate about.”
On February 29, 19 kCura employees worked with 12 students and a handful of teachers from Harper to refurbish 75 of the school’s computers. Students and teachers learned the process of refurbishment from the kCura volunteers, who showed them how to take the computers apart, clean them, remove and reinstall memory, reimage and, finally, put them back together. These computers will be sent back to Harper, where Sieja says the students will get to see their hard work in action.
“[The students] wanted to take ownership of [the computers] and ensure that their school’s technology is working efficiently moving forward—and they’re excited to rely on each other for that,” Sieja says. “At the beginning of the day on Saturday, only a handful of the 12 students who participated said they knew about hardware and software. At the end of the day, they all said they had the skills.”
Sieja says his company will contribute 140 four-computer workstations, one for each classroom, as well as related technology for the school as part of their commitment to providing technology to their One School at a Time beneficiary.
As for next year, no school has been chosen yet, but Sieja says, “we always look for schools with passionate faculty and engaged students, who could be even more successful with access to great technology. We usually find our schools through recommendations, so feel free to reach out to us if you have any.”
Visit kCura’s website, check out their BIC profile, and follow them on Twitter at @kCura.