Past Features

April 6, 2009 (Vol. 9, No. 6)

Bronx Middle School Students Receive Laptops

Bronx middle school students Gerald Alcazar with his father, Elias, and Genesis Leon, with her mother, Yajaira Contreras.
Wired for the Web: (left to right) Bronx middle school students Gerald Alcazar with his father, Elias, and Genesis Leon, with her mother, Yajaira Contreras, at Lehman's Bronx Institute.

One hundred and twenty Bronx middle-school students received new Dell laptops, courtesy of the Bronx Institute at Lehman College's Laptop Loan Program, which aims to put the power of the wireless Web into the hands of Bronx students. The students received the laptops at a distribution ceremony, held in The APEX on March 9.

"The Laptop Loan Program is one of our most successful initiatives," said Professor and Executive Director of the Bronx Institute Herminio Martinez. "It serves to bridge the digital divide and to empower students to take control of their educational future. If we want students to perform, we have to give them the right tools."

Through the program, the Bronx Institute has loaned thousands of laptops and wireless network cards to students throughout the Bronx who do not own a computer.

Mott Hall V eighth-grader Genesis Leon will put her new laptop to use right away, typing school projects for her favorite classes, social studies and math. "This laptop will help me look for scholarships when the time comes to apply to college," she said. "After college, I plan to attend law school."

"I plan to use my laptop to create digital art," said Gerald Alcazar, an eighth-grader who attends Middle School 181. Alcazar, an aspiring artist who plans to study sculpture in college, can now take his new laptop to New York City's many museums to sketch for practice.

Established in 1999, the Bronx Institute's programs currently serve some 8,000 students in thirty-seven schools across the borough, providing individual college counseling, S.A.T. and New York State Regents test prep, summer internships and study opportunities, and advanced, after-school academic support in science, mathematics, and the humanities.