While researching options for his Eagle Scout project, Mountain View High School sophomore Brandon Van Ryswyk learned that many high school students do not have home computers.
“I was surprised to discover that there is an endless list of students who don’t have access to computers at home,” he said. “With my project, I want to close the digital divide. I do a ton of homework on my computer – I don’t know how I could live without it. If you don’t have one, it is a great disadvantage.”
Van Ryswyk is currently refurbishing 25 of the computers recently donated to the Mountain View High School Computer Restoration Club. When he contacted the club, the students said they couldn’t store all 50 computers donated by ARM Corporation.
Van Ryswyk seized the opportunity for his Eagle Project.
“I wanted to do something different,” he said.
To qualify to refurbish the computers, Van Ryswyk enrolled in the Microsoft Registered Refurbished program, which authorizes him to equip the PCs with licensed copies of Windows and Microsoft Office.
Each computer comes with Microsoft Office, an antivirus program, Adobe Reader and Google Chrome software, he said.
Students who receive the computers and live in Mountain View have free Internet access via Google’s Mountain View free Wi-Fi program.
Over two six-hour workdays, Van Ryswyk, with help from his friends, finished the bulk of the refurbishing. To complete the project, he needs donations of five to 10 VGA monitors, keyboards and mice.
When the computers are fully equipped, Van Ryswyk will present them to Mountain View High’s Bilingual Community Coordinator for distribution to students and their families at no cost to the family or the school.