Working in the tech field, I sometimes take for granted the equipment and technology that is all around me: laptops, blackberries, cell phones, MP3 players etc. I also forget to reflect on how fortunate I was to have people mentor me and share their stories.
This was brought home recently when I had lunch with several of the college students who participate in the Laptops for Scholars program sponsored by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) and supported by Dell and our global diversity team.
CHCI and Dell have enjoyed a long-standing partnership of offering the Laptops for Scholars program participants access to and the benefits of top of the line laptops. Access to such valuable technology aids program participants in researching possible placements, updating resumes, writing policy briefs, producing their professional portfolios, and other deliverables as part of their program’s leadership curriculum. Selected scholars are regarded as being among the nation's next generation of Hispanic business and political leaders.
The students come from around the US, though the ones at lunch attend DC-area schools, such as the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins and Georgetown. The questions they posed ranged from how to lay the groundwork for professional success to how to overcome obstacles along the way.
The most exciting aspect of the lunch was the students’ absolute delight and excitement when these tech-savvy Millenials learned that they would receive a Dell notebook as part of their scholarship award.
As one wrote to me later, “I do not have enough words to express how grateful I am for the Dell laptop that you generously awarded me….My family had no means of affording a new laptop after my old one was water-damaged. After searching hopelessly for computer scholarships before college, I was forced to spend too much time waiting in the computer lab throughout my first semester of college. Thanks to your generosity, I will now be able to use some of that time more effectively for my studies and homework assignments.” Click here to see copies of their letters and see more photos on the Dell Flickr site.
While I was the beneficiary that day of those students’ gratitude, my Dell colleagues around the globe see and hear this almost daily as a result of our global corporate responsibilities activities. My thanks go out to you. And, for the students, I wish you the best of luck moving forward.