AT&T and nonprofit organization Human I-T in December donated refurbished laptops to 100 students who are finishing basic education through San Antonio nonprofit Restore Education.

The background

In a press conference at the nonprofit’s north side campus, officials with AT&T and Restore Education said the donation will help the recipients pursue their college and career goals free of constraints imposed by the digital divide, where community members lack access to free, high-speed internet service.

Restore Education representatives said their organization strives to provide free, flexible educational opportunities to form alternative pathways toward college and a career. These services include basic literacy, English language learning, high school equivalency requirements, career training and college support.

Restore Education officials offered words of gratitude to AT&T and Human I-T, the latter of which works with for- and nonprofits to divert used digital devices toward communities where they can reduce electronic waste and expand efforts of shrinking the digital divide.

What they’re saying

Kelli Rhodes, Restore Education’s president and CEO, expressed appreciation for the donation. She said her organization has helped more than 19,000 students finish their GEDs, prepare for college or pursue training in a high-demand career.

“But we know that it’s very challenging to connect with these educational pathways to success when you don’t have reliable access to the technology required. We want to express our gratitude to AT&T and Human I-T for this incredible donation, which will provide our hard-working students with the digital tools and resources they need to succeed in their education,” Rhodes said in a statement.

Robbyn Diaz, a parent and Restore Education student pursuing a college degree in accounting and finance, was one of the 100 students to receive a free laptop.

According to a news release, Diaz used a “loaner” laptop to attend class and complete her coursework while enrolled in Restore Education’s online “Latinos in Finance” banking program. Now working at CitiBank, Diaz said the new laptop will help her advance her career goals.

“This gift of a laptop will enable me to focus on continuing my education and taking my career to the next level,” Diaz said in a statement.