CUMMING, Ga. — Ashley Jeter, a junior at Forsyth Central High School, beamed when she found out she was awarded a laptop computer, a printer and software.
Jeter, 16, said the technology will bring so much to her family, who currently owns one desktop computer. She said it will change her life.
“We’ll be able to all get our homework done,” Jeter said of her three siblings. “We can all get all work done. It’s such a blessing.”
The technology gifts were part of Rewarding Minds’ continued commitment to equip academically excellent students who lack access to technology due to financial and other family hardships.
In the latest round, there were 24 students —13 at North Forsyth HS, eight at Central HS and three at West Forsyth HS — who were given new Asus brand laptop computers, an HP printer, Microsoft suite software and other computer accessories.
Jack Schiff started the nonprofit organization last summer and along with his board of directors has been able to gift nearly 40 students with technology.
“It’s getting bigger each year,” Schiff said.
Two other counties have asked to be a part of the Rewarding Minds program, including a school district in Charlotte, N.C. and Fulton County.
“We want this to be recognized as a Forsyth County-based nonprofit,” Schiff said. “We’ve perfected the model here.”
Schiff said he wants to equip all students in Forsyth County who need the technology. He said the number of students who lack technology, but are academically excellent totals about 300.
Central Principal Rudy Hampton said the impact will be greater than simply on the eight students.
“These students financially don’t have the means, but they have the ability; they have the work ethic,” Hampton said. “They have the support at home, but what they are missing is that they financially can’t go out and purchase a mobile device.
“Now they have the ability to do things that otherwise they would have had to go to the public library or stay here for two to three hours at night,” Hampton said. “They are going to share with their brothers and sisters and their friends and it’s going to expand and be much larger.”