Devices for Education - Young Changemakers of NorthSouth



"Devices for Underprivileged Students" is an initiative started by the Young Changemakers of NorthSouth(YCNS) in April 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, YCNS learned about the students who have not been privileged enough to have access to the necessary equipment to continue effective learning. North South Foundation(NorthSouth), with their commitment to Education, wanted to give back to the community by providing electronic devices to the underserved children and approached the team of YCNS with the idea of bridging the digital divide.

Inspired by the cause, YCNS, a group of young minds ranging from elementary to high school, passionate about making a difference in the world, have collaborated to create this initiative to provide devices for education. Through the initiative, the plan is to enable easy access to remote learning to as many underprivileged students as possible and bring smiles to their faces.

Since the initiative went national in May 2020, YCNS has been able to donate 331 Chromebooks to 5 schools which include Sayler Park (OH), Woodward Park Middle (OH), Columbia High (GA), and Sycamore Park Elementary (VA), Bowen High School (IL) in 4 states. The team would continue efforts through this initiative to bridge the digital gap to as many students as possible.

YCNS says, "In an ideal world, we would like to support every child's need for an electronic device in the country for their effective learning despite the hard times. We believe with education, we can close the economic gap, which automatically empowers the underserved community. As Young Changemakers of NorthSouth, this is our effort to help the underprivileged children of the country, to continue learning and enable themselves to a brighter future as well as to make the world more socially equitable".

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” - Nelson Mandela

Young Changemakers Initiative

The Young Changemakers Initiative (YCI) is an initiative of North South Foundation, to consciously support the journey of changemaking in the youth of NorthSouth and beyond. The initiative came into effect in April 2019 as a result of our collaboration with Ashoka, to make empathy and young changemaking become a priority of the Foundation.

Vision of YCI

To promote excellence in empathy along with education. To encourage the concept of changemaking in the youth of NorthSouth and beyond. To see every young individual to bring about change in their community for the betterment of humanity.

About the Young Changemakers of NorthSouth:

The Young Changemakers of NorthSouth(YCNS) are young minds ranging from elementary to high school, passionate about making a difference in the world. We are fortunate to be supported by YCI and have had the opportunity to attend webinars where we learnt the tools for our changemaking journey. Once we have identified our individual passion areas we embarked on our individual changemaking journeys to bring change in our local communities.

Some of our projects have included supporting the elderly, inspiring the young and motivating the community towards healthy living and exercise, bringing in STEM education and projects to underserved school districts, decreasing homelsssness, providing refurbished devices and many more.

As we were approached during the pandemic we collaborated for the initiative “Devices for Education”. We started off with a group of eight YCNS members but as we reached our community through our campaign, we inspired more young minds to join the cause. We currently are a group of twenty YCNS members in the team.

Bridging Digital Divide

As Covid-19 pandemic hit us, the digital divide expanded as everyone did not have the luxury of flexible learning. Given NorthSouth’s commitment to Education, the Foundation wanted to give back to the community by providing electronic devices to the underserved children. NorthSouth approached the team of YCNS with the idea of bridging the digital divide. Inspired by the cause, all the YCNS paused on their individual projects and joined forces together to create the “Devices for Education” initiative. Through our initiative, we plan to provide electronic devices to as many underprivileged students as possible and bring smiles to their faces.

Strategy & Plan

Strategy:
As a team, we have laid out criteria for choosing the schools and prioritizing them. We chose Title-1 schools with >50% of students that receive free lunch as major criteria along with grade level. A questionnaire was provided by our team to the volunteers who helped identify eligible schools in their local communities. After reviewing the responses, we further prioritized based on the percentage of free lunches. Each device, as requested by schools, would be provided to a free lunch student who is in need. Our parent organization, North South Foundation (NorthSouth) will match up to a max of $25,000 and the rest is fundraised by us, Young Changemakers of NorthSouth.

Plan:
As we all know the need is much more than what we see here. As of 5/15/2020 we identified 27 schools and aspire to help all the 27 schools that responded, and many more as possible. We are currently limited by our funding and we plan to continue to provide as funding allows.

Current statistics as of 6/30/2020

  • With $108 per device and our minimum target of $50,000,462 devices can be provided to 10 schools serving >90% free lunches.
  • As of 6/17/2020 we have delivered 195 Chromebooks to five schools from Cincinnati OH, Columbus OH, Atlanta GA, and Culpeper VA.
  • We are ready to provide for another 90 devices to two other schools
  • The schools with 50-70% free lunches will be on the waiting list as we raise more funds.
  • With speculations of a second wave of the pandemic in fall, we need to be prepared - not just for 1678 devices from 27 schools but many more.
  • We would continue to support as funding becomes available. With facts laid out, we request ongoing support from you, so we are able to provide to the currently identified students and also many more in need to provide educational opportunities.

Impact:

As a result of our fundraising efforts, we have been able to donate over 195 Chromebooks to five different schools over the spectrum of three states: Georgia, Ohio, and Virginia. These schools include Sayler Park, Woodward Park Middle, Pontiac, Columbia High, and Sycamore Park Elementary.

Britney, Mother from Sayler Park
“I wanted to reach out and thank you with all of my heart for helping my babies be able to still be interactive with school work... John is in kindergarten and Amirah is in preschool, and I definitely believe with them being so young they should be practicing every day to keep their minds growing strong. I am very appreciative of what you have done for them and the school. Without your donation, I would not have been able to give them the opportunity to be able to participate in school activities”
A teacher from Sayler Park
“WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for the generous donation of laptops to Sayler Park School. Now I have more students that will have similar opportunities as their other classmates. They will have an easier way to stay engaged with me and their classmates.”
Parent, Columbia
“Thank you for giving my high school children the opportunity to pursue their academic achievements in their critical years”
Our Donors

Thank you for all of the generous support that you provided to this campaign. It means a lot to us that these underprivileged students have the same opportunities as anyone else and you all are making that possible. We appreciate all of the support you have given us and we will continue forward to change more lives. With all of your help, we have crossed the 50% mark of our goal, and have impacted so many students’ lives.

- The Young Changemakers of NorthSouth