HARTFORD, Conn. — Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin announced a new partnership Tuesday with Hartford HealthCare: the non-profit organization Our Piece of the Pie, the Hartford Youth Service Corps, and the city to refurbish used laptops to distribute for free to community members next year.
Hartford HealthCare is donating 150 used laptops to be refurbished by members of the Hartford Youth Service Corps. Seniors, ages 55 and above, and first-generation college students in the city will be eligible to get the devices next year.
“In the process, our Youth Service Corps members will get the chance to get certification in Information Technology (IT), and then even better than that, they’re going to get the opportunity to be interns in the Hartford HealthCare IT system," Bronin said, calling it a "beautiful" private-public partnership.
“This is a chance to do something that will have a broad impact on the community by fixing up these 150 computers," Bronin added. "They’ll have the opportunity to build life skills that they will be able to carry with them forever and, at the same time, they’ll be able to make sure that 150 other Hartford residents, whether it’s seniors or students who are just embarking on college and otherwise wouldn’t have the access to the technology they need… they’ll have that opportunity.”
Eligible city residents can apply at the four neighborhood seniors centers or by calling 860-757-9508.
Those working on the laptops will learn how to refurbish a laptop, replace hard drives, and more. Jayquan Kelly said the Hartford Youth Service Corps was the right thing for him.
“It will help me get to the next step that I can keep going and have another career," he said.
Hartford Hospital President Bimal Patel said during Tuesday's announcement it is a smart move that will help the community and the company.
“This is not only the right thing to do, but it is also a smart thing to do from the business perspective, from the social-economic perspective, from giving access and bridging the gap," Patel said.
One of his IT employees, Brandon Murillo, said this will help others from the city explore future careers in IT.
“I want to just say that you’re working towards a very bright future here with us. This program will give you many opportunities," he said. “I also believe, with hard work and dedication, you’ll be able to achieve what I have done here.”
The laptops will help seniors access things like telehealth appointments. The students can use the devices for school or job searching. The city will promote the free devices through community and senior centers and youth-serving community-based organizations.
Tony Black is a multi-media journalist at FOX61 News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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