For most of us, 2020 will go down in the books as one of our most challenging years; for local college students, those same challenges—health, work, and financial concerns—also collided head-first with a technology shortage due to a massive movement toward distance learning. But for 50 College of DuPage (COD) students, their studies will get a bit easier (and their technology access more dependable) thanks to Wynndalco Enterprises’ donation of 50 Dell Pentium laptops in Mokena on November 2.
Wynndalco founder and CEO, David Andalcio, is well-versed in education challenges himself, having emigrated from his native Trinidad in his early teens to a foreign US school environment. His hunger to excel propelled him forward but also formed a deeply philanthropic spirit: He’s quite familiar with the plight of students who don’t have the same opportunities simply because of geography, history, and funding. And he’s mindful of changing that landscape, however and wherever he can.
“David is a member of the COD Foundation board and so learned of the COVID relief fund we’ve established for students who need the most support, technology-wise,” says Karen Kuhn, Foundation executive director. “While COD currently offers a technology rental program, these 50 laptops actually will go to 50 students directly and stay with them throughout their time at COD, so they can concentrate on their studies and have one less thing to worry about.”
As with so many others involved in K-16 education, Kuhn recognizes the tremendous technology requirements needed for larger families with multiple students involved in e-learning who are often struggling to share a single device. For a college-level workload, it’s almost impossible to do well.
“There’s been a huge shortage of laptops since schools changed to distance learning and scrambled to offer one-to-one, student-to-device ratios,” Andalcio explains. “But we have long, supportive relationships with today’s leading technology suppliers plus a lot of public schools both here and abroad and were able to use our connections to help make these donations happen.”
Founded in 1967, COD boasts nearly 3,000 full- and part-time faculty on its 254-acre campus in west suburban Glen Ellyn and serves an average semester enrollment of 25,000 students. In fact, some of Andalcio’s family and staff have attended there and used that valuable local education to continue on at some of COD’s many partner schools (Benedictine and Northern Illinois Universities, for example). In fact, Sean Noonan, DuPage County Board Member, was one such student years ago, and appreciates the attention Andalcio gives toward myriad DuPage County efforts—from education to transportation to the Emergency Telephone System.
“Working alongside David, I see how he supports both sides of the aisle; the most important thing is helping kids with their education and making our communities better,” Noonan explains. “It is just a generous thing to share the tools for learning that are so needed today…and what better timing than now, when kids are scrambling?”
Adds Andalcio, “I believe so strongly that access to technology and the Internet simply should not be barriers for today’s students. Wynndalco regularly donates hundreds of units annually to do our part in making education more accessible. Now more than ever, we need to come together and help where we can.”
Established in 2009, Wynndalco is a certified DBE/MBE/SBE/BEP that serves educational institutions, state- and local governments, Fortune 500 and -100 businesses, and transportation entities with proven, affordable, professional support for End-User Device Management, Warehouse & Logistics, Project Management, Technology Infrastructure Operations, and SMART Board® and A/V services. For more information, visit www.wynndalco.com.