Spring Break 2013: IT Goes to Ecuador

While perhaps not a part of your standard spring break equation, the William & Mary IT department was able to send a little piece of itself to Cayambe, Ecuador where a group of five freshmen from the Kappa Sigma Fraternity embarked on an alternative spring break trip.

W&M students (left to right) Matthiessen Chatfield-Taylor, Adam Nowicki, Benming Zhang, Seth Opoku-Yeboah, and Patrick Mullin presenting the director of the Manuel Aguilar School with two W&M decommissioned laptops.

Benming Zhang, a Sharpe Scholar and member of the class of 2016, led this trip. Zhang spearheaded this same initiative last March when he was a senior at the Choate Rosemary Hall (CRH) School in Wallingford, CT. With the intention of traveling to assist children in need, participants visited the Manuel Aguilar School located about two hours north of Quito. This trip was the first of what would become an annual trip to this “sister school” in Ecuador, where CRH students could continue to improve the conditions of the school and donate supplies, clothing, and books.

This year Zhang was joined by fellow W&M freshmen Adam Nowicki, Seth Opoku-Yeboah, Matthiessen Chatfield-Taylor, and Patrick Mullin. They taught English to the children of the Manuel Aguilar School, and played with them during recess hours. They also helped with repairs and maintenance around the school grounds, and donated clothing, school supplies, and sporting goods.  The W&M IT department was proud to contribute to these efforts with the donation of two decommissioned Dell laptops, which will help the school build a media center.

This is not the first time W&M IT has sent laptop computers on an international journey, however. Just last year, we sent 30 laptops to Ghana with the Student Partnership for Medical Aid (SPIMA), a part of Branch Out International.

William & Mary has a long-standing tradition of international involvement and service. Whether it be an outstanding group of friends and fraternity brothers headed to Ecuador, or an organization like SPIMA, the Tribe has a strong, positive presence in underprivileged communities across the globe. As for W&M IT, we cannot think of a better way to donate our available resources than to assist dedicated students in their commitment to service and to help spread Tribe pride around the world.