The William & Mary Information Technology department was able to send a little piece of itself to Cayambe, Ecuador, recently when a group of five freshmen from the Kappa Sigma Fraternity traveled there on an alternative spring break trip.
Benming Zhang, a Sharpe Scholar and member of the class of 2016, led the trip. He spearheaded the same initiative last March when he was a senior at the Choate Rosemary Hall School (CRH) in Wallingford, Conn. With the intention of traveling to assist children in need, participants in that trip visited the Manuel Aguilar School located about two hours north of Quito 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 contributed to the students' 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, the department sent 30 laptops to Ghana with the Student Partnership for Medical Aid (SPIMA), a part of Branch Out International.