computer recycling

Volunteer Coordinator and Program Developer

VISTA Name: 
Arthur Meadows
Program Start: 
Project Description: 

The VISTA will be training volunteers to refurbish computers, set up networks, and do web design. The VISTA will also manage and coordinate volunteers to keep up the office. Lastly they will recruit, train and lead a team of volunteers to acquire low-income/non-profit recipients of programs, products and services.

1. Identify and secure expanded space for operations
2. Increase the ability of the WTA to provide workforce training in technology for shelter residents
3. Recruit and train volunteers to staff existing major program activities.
4. Develop new areas of possible endeavors (electronic commerce, computer recycling, technology thrift store)

Project Outcome: 

Art did an excellent job and was a wonderful representation of the WTA.

Art secured the use of the old A&E building for use by the WTA, a 6000 SF building with room for offices, classroom, meeting room and computer lab. All at no cost to the WTA.

Art worked with the WTA president to make our center a Cisco certified training center, a COMPTIA training center and obtained free COMPTIA certification exams for shelter residents.

Art assisted in securing major donations from GSA, AARP and DHS - about 250 computers and monitors in all and encouraged a 15 volunteers to give their time with the center.

Art also visited a major recycler and secured their support with a computer recycling program with the WTA.

CTC Assistance

VISTA Name: 
Larry Syms
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

Our long-range goals are to enable a significant number of adult learners to feel comfortable and skilled in using computers and to learn where they can purchase low-cost (recycled or new) computers for family use.

VISTA members will perform the following taks:

- Enabling adult students to feel comfortable and skilled in finding useful information on the web;

- Assisting in learning projects such as helping adult learners to word process and desktop publish school newspapers and student magazines;

- With small groups of adult students designing and making web-based Virtual Visits of workplaces and community organizations of interest to adult learners and their families;

- Providing access to online and CD-ROM-based adult instruction in English language and other basic skills learning

- Adding to the Boston E-Square web pages

Outreach and Technical Assistance

VISTA Name: 
Brian Pastori
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

The focus of the CTC VISTA will be to work with the CEDC staff to reach-out to smaller non-profit groups– many of which are completely staffed by low-income volunteers– to organize very-low-cost and accessible volunteer training programs.

Project Outcome: 

CTC Net VISTA Brian Pastori continued to be a technical assistance resource to the project and to the overall work of the agency that integrates community technology across the board in all of our programs. As we completed our move, we set up the VITA e-filing site and resumed the computer recycle and refurbishing after school program. Brian held an Organizer’s Database workshop and was available for one-on-one technical assistance to the participating groups. We were also able to pilot a videoconferencing project in collaboration with a counterpart CTC in Quiche, Guatemala. Brian coordinated student interns on a variety of CEDC projects and faciliated a team of summer youth to conduct an assessment of youth needs. Brian’s ability to adapt to a variety of projects has allowed us to continue his position after the end of his VISTA assignment. A local private foundation with a particular interest in encouraging their grantee groups to engage youth in programming increased our funding by 50% this year to help underwrite the costs of this newly funded position.

Impact Quote: 

Brian has been instrumental in helping the CEDC achieve its mission because he has a strong commitment to working with our diverse low-income population. Brian has very strong group facilitation, training and community organizing skills in addition to his techlology skills which have been tremendous assets to the CEDC to allow us to further our mission.

Outreach, Tech Support, and Recycling Coordinator

VISTA Name: 
Paul Savage
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

Accomplished on a regular basis the following tasks of Outreach, Tech Support, and Recycling Coordinator:

• Install software with licenses when updating or reformatting was needed
• Troubleshoot and repair computer systems with donations made by The Lowell Housing Authority
• Create flyers to attract working class people to the advantages of computer technology and for needed volunteers
• Recruit volunteers for the hours that were designated for each lab and for tech support
• Make daily connections with volunteers
• Fill the hours that volunteers could not work
• Run a recycling program for people that could not afford a computer

Project Outcome: 

Progress has been made in the attendance of children and adults in the CTC’s maintained for Ed West. At the end of August, we had a 20% increase of children arriving after school to do their homework or just surf on the net since February. We have also made an increase of adult attendance in the courses we held. We have had at least 100 certificates to give to the graduates from our beginner’s computer courses. Our adults have learned the basics of Microsoft Office and Windows. They have even learned how to search for jobs and build perfect resumes. We have given away at least 50 computers in the last six months to MA Rehab clients and also students that have taken our courses. Donations were made regular by major companies and by individuals who wanted to give to our community. I have also updated all 30 computers with new software that was used by all participants. Especially learning tools for the children.

Part of Paul’s job was the development of a lesson plan to teach residents the basics of computers. Paul was to create a lesson plan for 6 or 8 week classes that would engage residents with a completion date set, and a new class to begin subsequently. This did not happen as planned and the one class that has met is still meeting after 12 weeks, with the same four students and no set plan to end. Paul is not supposed to be teaching directly, but it was allowed assuming that new volunteers were being sought to step in to teach. With very little success in recruiting and maintaining volunteers Paul chose to teach classes directly, in an effort to get the computer center utilized.

Transmission Project