COVID-19: Collective Success Network Provides Refurbished Laptops for Philadelphia Students

Collective Success Network looks to ensure students have the necessary technology they need to take part in online classes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help low-income students keep up with the new form of instruction amid the coronavirus crisis, the Collective Success Network is providing refurbished laptops to students in the Philadelphia area.

The donations target low-income, first-generation (LIFG) students who cannot afford a computer to take online courses.

Photo courtesy of Nancy Li, co-executive director and co-Founder of Collective Success Network

Nancy Li, co-executive director and co-founder of CSN, said this is the collective’s first time donating laptops.

“The laptop donation drive was in response to some LIFG students sharing that they do not have the laptops with capacity to take online courses as Philadelphia universities closed campuses and transitioned all classes online,” Li said.

The drive relies on donors in the Philadelphia area and beyond who are willing to share their laptops or financial resources to help LIFG students achieve their academic and career goals during the coronavirus outbreak.

Alice Ginsberg, director of programming at the collective, said student applicants are matched with available laptops.

Photo courtesy of Alice Ginsberg, director of programming at the Collective Success Network

“We base our criteria on first-come-first-serve basis,” Ginsberg said. “Students should be enrolled in a U.S. college. Matching is done by student computer specifications and what donated laptop is available.”

There is no deadline and no quota when it comes to helping students in need, Li said. The more donors CSN gets, the more students will be served.

“It depends on the generosity of donors and how many laptops they have,” Li said.

Rachel Rosen is one of the donors who contributed.

She donated a Lenovo ThinkPad to a student.

Rosen, who resides in Center City, wrote in an email that helping students in need is not only contributing to their success, but the success of society.

“All I can tell him is have a great rest of the semester,” Rosen wrote.

Li said that the laptop drive is just a part of what CSN does.

“We offer much more than just laptops,” Li said. “This COVID-19 crisis is definitely one of the most interesting experience we’ve had. In a very short time, we were able to get local responses from the Philadelphia community in donations, temporary housing, and laptops. However, the need is much greater given that LIFG students usually have little to no financial safety net and this shutdown is causing a lot of financial stress and food insecurity on top of mental stress.”

Words by Cleves Mefiance Nkie Mongo.

Please email any questions or concerns about this story to: editor@philadelphianeighbors.com.

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