Laptops to make life-changing difference
Almost 200 refurbished laptops have been donated by James Cook University to a charity dedicated to giving underprivileged students a digital education.
190 Dell Latitude laptop computers have been given to LiteHaus International, a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2017 by JCU alumnus Jack Growden that has gone on to provide digital-learning opportunities to more than 40,000 students across four countries.
JCU Deputy Vice Chancellor, Division of Services and Resources, Tricia Brand said the donation was a wonderful example of JCU giving the gift of digital learning to those in need.
“JCU is absolutely thrilled to be involved in this initiative with Jack and the team at LiteHaus International,” she said.
“This is an exceptionally worthwhile endeavour that will deliver digital learning opportunities to underprivileged students across Queensland.
“We have no doubt this donation will help equip students with the skills they need for careers in the 21st century.”
JCU Chancellor Bill Tweddell said it was satisfying to see JCU graduates like Mr Growden not only excel in their chosen career but give back to the community.
“Jack’s work in this space speaks strongly to JCU’s values. He is an outstanding young man who is using the power of education to inspire young students to follow their dreams,” he said.
“When he first approached me with the idea of a donation, I jumped at the opportunity to get JCU involved and I’d like to thank Head of IT Services and Support Julie Land for her work in sourcing these laptops for such a worthy cause.”
Mr Growden, a finalist in the Queensland Young Australian of the Year Awards, said the laptops were greatly appreciated by LiteHaus.
“LiteHaus sources corporate e-waste, end-of-life devices like laptops, desktops and tablets, and redeploys them through our programs across the world,” he said.
“Digital device ownership rates are less than five per cent across rural, regional and remote Queensland. So far, we’ve provided 850 students with their own personal laptop.
“50 of the laptops donated by JCU will go to Cowboys House. Cowboys House is one of those organisations where you can see the difference they are making in people’s lives.
“The remaining devices will go across Queensland to Year 11 and 12 students.”
Mr Growden said digital technology meant the learning possibilities were almost endless for students living in remote communities.
“There are opportunities now for people to become lawyers, doctors or engineers online without having to conquer the tyranny of distance. Communication and technology are the two biggest challenges that regional Australians face,” he said.
“Students need the tools to learn, dream and achieve in the digital age and this is what we are creating here in partnership with JCU.”