Creating Connections, Making a Difference
COVID-19 was a lesson for us all – particularly on the subject of technology’s place in the world. We take full advantage of technology to maintain, as much as possible, our work and personal lives. Unfortunately, there are segments of our population that are at a disadvantage when it comes to the technology many of us are fortunate enough to take for granted. During the pandemic, the increase in remote learning unveiled a serious lack of tech tools in homes and in schools – schools that would otherwise supply students with computers and Wi-Fi to attend classes online.
A Collective Effort for Transformation
Recognizing this dilemma in our society, the Molex Black Professionals (MBP) employee resource group and Molex Community Outreach collaborated with Waldom Electronics, a valued Molex distributor, to secure 10 Hewlett-Packard laptops for students in need of computers for learning.
Waldom was in the process of decommissioning the laptops when Molex contacted them. The MBP group was delighted to receive the laptops, and with the support of Molex Community Outreach, they purchased Microsoft Office licenses to be installed on each one.
“Molex seeks to collaborate with organizations that share our core values and create opportunities that help transform society and drive virtuous cycles of mutual benefit. As a global company, Molex wants our neighbors to succeed, and we want to contribute to a sustainable and inclusive society,” said Erica Holm, Program Manager for Molex Community Outreach.
MBP then teamed up with the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) for a proposed technology scholarship. This collaboration called for the student members of the local NSBE Jr. chapter to write and submit an essay for a chance to win one of the laptops. NSBE Jr. provides programs designed to encourage students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and supports K-12 students.
Inspiring Our Youth for Success
“The laptop donation offered Chicago-West Suburbs NSBE Jr. the opportunity to share hope during challenging times. Seeing the happy faces of the NSBE Jr. students when they received laptops donated by Molex was an experience I was grateful to be a part of,” said Cortez Watkins, NSBE Jr. program coordinator.
The pandemic has shone a bright light on the inequities and discrepancies in access to technology for many inner-city students. In particular, the pandemic exposed the lack of access to computers and Wi-Fi enhancements by minorities. Holm noted, “This opportunity to support the local NSBE Jr. chapter in collaboration with Waldom is just one way we can work together to help empower students and the future workforce.”
“It was more than just a laptop donation—it was an opportunity to tackle the digital divide that many students and families face in our community,” said Watkins. “We immensely appreciate the support. Having a partnership with Molex has enabled us to encourage many students to continue to strive for academic excellence.”
Molex’s goal is to encourage students to pursue STEM degrees and provide the tools they need to attain their academic goals by helping to close the technology gap. Today, we are one step closer to doing just that, and we are proud of this initiative’s embodiment of our brand promise, Creating Connections for Life.