HUNTLEY, Ill. - About 15,000 students around the world will have the opportunity to further their educations thanks to the generosity of a northwest suburban Chicago school district and one ambitious high school student.
Ariana Patel, a sophomore at Huntley High School, partnered with Huntley Community School District 158 and Giving Gadgets, a local-non profit organization, to donate about 600 lightly-used laptops to schools and students in Mexico and India, according to the school district.
The district said Patel approached Huntley 158 Superintendent Scott Rowe in June with the idea, and asked if the district had any spare laptops it could donate to the project.
"The thought of being able to help those in need really stuck out to me. I have the ability to help students around the world increase their education by helping donate these computers," said Patel.
Nearly 1,500 Chromebooks that had reached the end of their life cycle within the school district and were earmarked for recycling, were collected and made ready for donation by Huntley 158's technology department, the district said.
Of those devices, about 600 will be given to schools in need in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and Ahmedabad, India, according to district officials.
Ariana Patel, a sophmore at Huntley High School, partnered with Huntley Community School District 158 and Giving Gadgets, a local-non profit organization, to donate about 600 lightly-used latops to schools and students in need in Mexico and India, ac (Huntley Community School District 158)
Giving Gadgets said the computers will be the first technology many of the students have ever used in school.
Generosity runs in Patel's family.
The inspiration for the project Patel said came as the result of a story her grandfather once told her about the challenges he faced in launching a charitable school in his hometown in India without computer access for its students.
"Having those first conversations with my grandfather while he was doing his charitable work of opening a school in his town in India opened my eyes to the disparities [in education] not only around the world, but also in our own communities, as well," said Patel.
Patel reached out to her cousin and founding member of Giving Gadgets, Jaiden Sutaria, for help with the philanthropic effort. Patel said she hopes the donation will give students the opportunity to gain similar knowledge as those who have access to technology.
"I want to continue to help bridge the gap and increase equity of technology and other resources by offering computers to all students," said Patel. "Every student in the United States and around the world should be able to have access to educational technology."
After Patel graduates, she said she plans to continue her passion for helping people by pursuing a career in medicine.