CIS faculty member Erla Beegle is no regular geek; she’s a bona fide Super Geek. That’s what the Kramden Institute calls volunteers who lead Corporate Community Service Days. A longtime partner with ECPI’s Raleigh camps, this nonprofit organization refurbishes computers that would otherwise be discarded and donates them to schools and middle-school children in economic need.
Under the guidance of a Super Geek like Erla, companies “rent” Kramden for the day with a tax-deductible donation and then send employees who help refurbish the computers. When they’re finished, those once discarded machines are ready to hum back to life, complete with Microsoft Windows 7, web browsers, and anti-virus installed. Thus far, Kramden has distributed over 10,000 computers in its quest to bridge the digital divide.
Early this fall, the staff of Neo Nova (an industry leader in managed IP services in the Research Triangle Park area) donated one of its workdays. With Erla and several other “Super Geeks” as instructors, Neo Nova employees were able to repair, clean, install, and test over 40 computers. Each participant received a nifty “Geek” t-shirt with their company’s logo and the knowledge that they have made a difference in a well-deserving student’s life. And while they learned how to repair computers and install operating systems, they also learned about the valuable programs offered by ECPI University.
“I always try to encourage ECPI students and alumni to donate their time to various Kramden events,” says Erla, “You learn a lot, have fun, meet great people and, of course, it’s very rewarding.” Kramden Institute also benefits from ECPI’s externship programs. ECPI students gain valuable experience in repairing computers, laptops and monitors at Kramden while meeting people in the field of EE and IT.