A child is born into the social and economic status of her family. When her family is unable to care for her basic needs, college is out of the question. She can dream, but in her heart she knows her dream can’t really come true. Without an education, she is destined to follow in their footsteps. Girls are more likely to get pregnant early, have more children, and not be able to provide for them better than her own parents could. Boys are more likely to turn to crime.
Children born into poverty deserve an education. It’s the only way for them to break the cycle and create a better life for themselves and their families. As stated by the philosopher Maimonides, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. Education is linked to future earnings and is an important key to their future.
But when homeless or in foster care, there is one important tool that can make a huge difference in the chance for success of these kids–a laptop. They need a laptop to do their homework, apply to college, write essays and research eligible financial aid that can allow them to go to college. A laptop can allow them to start their own online business, search for part-time job openings to help pay for books, and stay connected to the world outside of their shelter or foster home.
Children in local transitional shelters such as Chapman Partnership typically must wait in line to access the small number of computers available in their after school homework room. The room is noisy, crowded, and certainly not conducive to doing their best work, which impacts grades.
There are more than 1.3 million homeless students in the United States, a figure that has almost doubled in the last decade. Another 700,000 spend time in foster care each year. These kids didn’t ask to be born into poverty and they deserve a fighting chance to get out. They deserve to follow their dreams and they don’t deserve a simple tool like a laptop getting in their way. Our mission is to get laptops into the hands of as many of these kids as possible. If they show that they are really trying in school, then we want to give them the tools to succeed.