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MetLife Geek-A-Thon Refurbishes Computers For Students

MetLife's IT staff spent two days updating 311 computers to provide disadvantaged school children with their own home computers.

School children in Raleigh, N.C., received free desktop computers -- equipped with a new operating system and educational software -- when MetLife developers, programmers, and engineers refurbished 311 PCs during a "Geek-A-Thon" event Oct. 9-11.

With support from the Kramden Institute and a $25,000 grant from MetLife Foundation, more than 250 employees from MetLife Global Technology and Operations participated in the Geek-A-Thon. The goal was to help students who don't have home computers and are at a disadvantage since teachers regularly assign digital homework, said Jim O'Donnell, CTO of MetLife Global Technology and Operations.

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"Programmers can hold holiday food drives like everyone else and we do. But equally important is nurturing young minds through education and technology, and more than ever, technology holds tremendous power to change people's lives," O'Donnell told InformationWeek. "Our partnership with the Kramden Institute is a chance for us to help families tool up."

Out of the 311 refurbished desktops, 80 were given to students in Raleigh, and the rest will be donated as needed by the Kramden Institute, which was founded in 2003 to provide technology tools and training to bridge the digital divide. Half of the student recipients were children of veterans and active service members in North Carolina.

Read the full story on InformationWeek. 

Elena Malykhina began her career at The Wall Street Journal, and her writing has appeared in various news media outlets, including Scientific American, Newsday, and the Associated Press. For several years, she was the online editor at Brandweek and later Adweek, where she ... View Full Bio

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Nathan Golia
Nathan Golia,
User Rank: Author
10/30/2014 | 1:16:17 PM
MetLife is really working hard on making this N.C. center part of the fabric of the innovative Research Triangle region. This is a good initiative to get to know the community.
Greg MacSweeney
Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Author
10/30/2014 | 8:55:06 AM
Re: Great cause
This is a really cool story. Glad to see they are looking to expand it next year.
User Rank: Author
10/29/2014 | 10:13:20 AM
Re: Great cause
Yes, this seems like a win-win all the way around. Helping the less fortunate as well as perhaps training the future workforce for your business.
User Rank: Author
10/28/2014 | 2:00:16 PM
Great cause
This is a really cool idea - I'm sure kids without home computers are at a major disadvantage in today's schools, and this kind of project can help them keep up with their peers. Glad to see MetLife is already planning an even bigger event for 2015. 
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