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2022 Year in Review

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

As we end first quarter of 2023, Brenda Powell, Executive Director of Laptops 4 Learning, shared some of the highlights of 2022.

Community collaborations have been, and continue to be, the bedrock of L4L’s success in identifying students most in need of laptops. L4L is always on the lookout for students who may be struggling to succeed in school and life because they do not have access to a laptop. The digital divide continues to be real for far too many students. Access to laptops at school is not enough in today’s technology driven world. Not having a laptop available at home results in those students who are without one falling into what is referred to as the Homework Gap. L4L’s mission is to fill in that gap so that students and our veterans, will have a much more level playing field for achieving success in school and life.

For the past 2 years, L4L has worked closely with schools such as Mitchell Elementary and Sutton Elementary, in the Isaac School District. Both schools have wonderful Parent Educators, specifically Maria Labra and Brenda Corona, who have helped us identify and provide laptops to more than 65 students in their schools. Parents are receiving training on how to use a laptop and on how to use the laptop to stay in touch with their child’s teachers.

Gateway Community College houses a life changing program for high school graduates ages 17-24, called Year Up. Students in this program have the opportunity to spend six months earning 35-40 college credits and then the student spends the last six months in internships with a Fortune 500 company. Over the last 4 years, L4L has been the laptop provider of choice for the students in Year Up, having provided over 140 of their students with high end i7, 16 GB SSD laptops; 35 Year Up students received laptops in 2022.

The Arizona College of Nursing/L4L partnership has expanded from one location in north Phoenix, to four other locations in the Phoenix Metro area, in addition to their locations in southern California and Salt Lake City. Many of these amazing students are juggling raising a family and trying to fit in studying and classes, in order to move up in their profession. L4L has provided 72 nursing students with affordable laptops and continues to be the laptop provider of choice recommended by the college’s counselors for these students.

One of the first things L4L did in 2018 as an organization was to become a member of the AZ Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In addition to the amazing networking opportunities that being a member provides to L4L, we also have the honor of being the laptop provider of choice for the DreamBuilder program the Chamber offers for entrepreneurs needing help with developing a business plan and their marketing strategy. This collaboration has resulted in L4L having provided 127 students in their program with laptops in 2022.

Another multi-year partnership for L4L is with PMA Media’s Video Scholarship program, which is geared specifically towards low to moderate-income students entering college for the first time, or returning to college, who meet the program’s guidelines of being low income. Last year 48 students received a free laptop through this collaboration with L4L and Video Scholarship which began in 2019.

A new community partnership, begun in 2020, is with two organizations which serve the Native American community, namely Desert Sage Healing and Blue Sage. Both of these trauma informed organizations help students in their program recover from substance abuse. These two organizations are examples of L4L’s commitment to helping “students”, no matter the grade level or setting. Students in traditional K-12 public schools and colleges, as well as those in non-traditional settings such as GED programs or rehabilitation programs, are all welcome to receive laptops. The partnership has resulted in 42 of their students receiving laptops.

Another non-traditional partnership L4L worked with 2022 is an organization called Bread and Water for Africa, out of Alexandria, VA. They purchased 10 laptops from in support of children in Africa in impoverished communities. We hope to do more with this organization in 2023.

Turning now to our grant funders and business partners, I’d like to first acknowledge Desert Financial Credit Union for their unwavering commitment to our nonprofit, in support of our mission to close the digital technology divide for students and vets. Thanks to DFCU’s donation of $15k, we were able to provide 120 students with laptops, 75 of which went to students at the Academy of Math & Science Flower. We are excited about the prospect of furthering this relationship in 2023 in other such as with DFCU’s employees support of our Shoe Drive fundraiser in August, and our first ever L4L Fun Run in 2024.

The African Americans at BD (AABD) employee resource group came through once again raising over $10,000 for students at Zion Institute and Wrightson Elementary school in Sahuarita, AZ. Both BD and DFCU have committed to partner with L4L by not only providing much needed funding for our students, but to also connect us directly with their employees’ participation in our Shoe Drive fundraiser and the 2024 Fun Run/Walk.

Although located in Mt. Vernon, VA, Americans Helping Americans (AHA) is in the unique position of being both a community partner, who purchased laptops for students in their VA based programs, and a grant provider. In 2022, AHA purchased 35 laptops through L4L for their Christian Relief program and additionally provided L4L with a $7,000 grant which was used in support of laptops provided to elementary students at Wrightson Ridge Elementary school in Sahuarita, AZ. L4L has students who have benefitted from receiving laptops through our program in over 42 states across the country.

A brand-new employee fundraiser partner opportunity for L4L was provided by United Overseas Bank, providing L4L with $5,000. This employee fundraiser allowed L4L to provide 25 students with laptops in the Reach Basketball after school program in the Chandler School district. An additional 20 individual students needing financial assistance to obtain their laptop were also able to benefit from this grant.

In total, L4L had another great year of closing the digital technology divide for more than 645 students in 2022. Our goal is yet aggressive this year, aspiring to provide 2,000+ students with laptops. We are off to a great start in 2023, having already provided 187 students with laptops. L4L is fervently committed to continuing to achieve our mission of further closing the digital technology divide, one student at a time, leaving no student in need behind.

Thank you,

Brenda Powell



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