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500 Danville Community College students getting free laptops

(Connor Matteson)
Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 12:22 PM EST
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ/Danville Community College Release) - 500 students enrolled at Danville Community College are being given laptops, in an effort to “mitigate the technological hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the college.

The computers are being provided by the Danville Community College Educational Foundation (DCCEF), in conjunction with Danville Community College, the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County.

“The generosity of the two localities (Pittsylvania County and City of Danville) will allow the Danville Community College Educational Foundation to provide laptops to a total of 500 enrolled DCC students,” said Shannon Hair, vice president of institutional advancement. “This is an amazing investment and we are extremely grateful to the two localities for their investment in the future of our students.”

The City of Danville is using a portion of its CARES Act funding to address the technological disparities that have plagued students who have had to convert to completely online classes, with little notice.

“I am pleased that the City was able to use some of its CARES Act funds to help city residents at DCC with the computer equipment they need to be safe while learning during this pandemic,” said Ken Larkin, city manager for the City of Danville. “It is important that our residents continue to work on skills so that they can be ready for the workforce.”

County officials also elected to earmark a portion of their CARES Act funding to help student residents bridge the technological gap.

“Amid all the difficulties and challenges that the pandemic has brought on, the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors is pleased to assist by providing laptops to some of our residents,” said Bob Warren, Chairman of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors. “With all of our CARES Act funds, we tried to balance short-term needs with purchases that would benefit the county and its citizens for years to come, and this free laptop program for DCC students that live in Pittsylvania County certainly fits that criteria.”

Danville Community College notes the laptop program is one of many offered to students to help meet needs. Other programs support student needs around food-insecurity, utilities, transportation, tuition, and more.

“We are incredibly proud and grateful to collaborate closely with our community partners to provide this essential technology to our students,” said Dr. Jacqueline Gill Powell, president of Danville Community College. “As we continue to prioritize the basic needs of our students, technological or otherwise, with our unique programs and support services, we are ensuring that students have a clear path to educational success, regardless of their circumstances.”

To be eligible for this program, students must reside in the City of Danville or Pittsylvania County and will be required to fill out a form expressing their interest in receiving a laptop.

Students who qualify for a free laptop will be notified with instructions for pickup from Foundation Hall on the DCC campus January 29 and February 1.

For more information or to apply to receive a laptop, visit the Danville.edu homepage and click “Free Student Laptops.”

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