As part of its fourth annual laptop giveaway effort, the Middlesex Community College Computer Club donated HP Notebook laptops to ten MxCC students. Eight students received the computers, which were purchased with funds raised by the club along with generous donations by MxCC faculty and staff and the Peach Pit Foundation, Inc., during an awards ceremony Tuesday. Two additional computers were given to students before Thanksgiving.
The ten students to receive laptops were Barra Friedman, Katrina Forman and Franklin Perlata of Middletown; Susan Greene, Catalina Vasquez, and Timothy Zakrzewski of Meriden; Jeannette Negron of East Haven; Nicholas E. Reyna of Rocky Hill; and Candance Taylor of Hartford. One student asked to remain anonymous.
To win the laptops, students composed an essay explaining how they or their family could benefit from a computer and submitted it along with two faculty or staff recommendations. Originally, the club only had enough money to purchase two computers. Since they had 10 highly qualified applicants for the free computers, the club organizers were determined to do more. Donna Hylton, the club’s faculty advisor and program coordinator of MxCC’s health information management, computer information technology, and management information systems, and Nancy Kelly, MxCC accounting program coordinator, reached out to all MxCC employees for donations.
“Staff and faculty just started dropping off checks,” said Kelly. “It was absolutely amazing. Their generosity allowed us to help more students who face terrible struggles accessing this technology.”
The appeal raised $1,800 in just a few weeks. The Peach Pit Foundation learned about the generosity spreading around campus and stepped in to bridge the nearly $600 gap for the remaining laptops.
“MxCC has always been a part of our family,” said Sharon Griffin, trustee of the Peach Pit Foundation. “When we heard about how the faculty and staff here felt about these applicants hoping to receive needed computers, we had to be a part of it. It is a blessing to us as well.”
Griffin explained that she and her husband started the Peach Pit Foundation in an effort to teach their children about giving and appreciating others. The computer project was the perfect example to do just that.
“This will help me to achieve my poetic dream,” said recipient Nick Reyna. “Thanks to this generous gift I will have the ability to stay in touch with many people as well as my friends here at MxCC.”
Griffin joined members of the College’s Computer Club, MxCC faculty and staff members, and Anna Wasescha, president of MxCC, at Tuesday’s ceremony.
“This is so exciting,” said Hylton during the ceremony. “We are calling it our Christmas miracle!”
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