CMS Vance High Students Spend Spring Break at Tech Internship

For Immediate Release
March 30, 2016

CMS Vance High Students Spend Spring Break at Tech Apprenticeship
This week, twenty-one students from Vance High School’s Engineering Academy chose to devote four days of their Spring Break to learn to rebuild laptops with new software, set up networks, develop games and create mobile apps. This groundbreaking fast-track internship program is led by Informative Technologies Inc., a startup committed to solving the root causes of the digital divide, headquartered in UNCC’s PORTAL Building. The program is being sponsored by Electrolux, and is using surplus laptops and hard drives from Classic Graphics, Turner Construction Company, and E2D. At the end of their apprenticeship, they will each go home with a restored laptop computer that they rebuilt. Electrolux worked with Informative Technologies, Vance High School Academy of Engineering and University City Partners to develop this spring break program to pilot a new way of repurposing surplus technology to empower underserved families and students in University City. The program provides students, all of whom are minorities and a third of whom are young women, with 34 hours of work experience, and a portfolio of technological accomplishments to showcase.

“This is a remarkable opportunity for our students to develop marketable technology skills. It’s great, too, in that it rewards them from the start with their own laptop computer,” says Matthew Wykoff, CTE Program Coordinator for Vance High School Academy of Engineering. He added, “Lee Fain of Electrolux had the vision to establish this internship, and as chair of our advisory board, is supporting its sustainability for future generations of academy of engineering students.”

“We’re proud to see the Charlotte business community come together to support our vision of sharing, rather than scrapping unused technology, as the solution to the problems of electronic waste and the digital divide. Lack of access to technology is a challenge which affects many of our interns personally, and all of them came away empowered with the knowledge that they can make donated computers run like new and develop their own apps and websites, using our ReviveOS software. We hope to inspire socially responsible corporate leaders to contact us to learn how they, too, can take advantage of our turnkey process for making gently-used devices available to the one-fifth of Charlotte families who are still behind the digital divide. Working with Informative and ReviveOS, a thousand spare devices can become a thousand more connected families”, said James Walker, Founder and CEO of Informative Technologies.

Interview Opportunities:

  • Student Interns
  • Vance Staff
  • Informative Technologies
  • Jessica Washington (Google Digital Inclusion Fellow)
  • Lea Keal (CEO Sustainable Environmental Enterprises)

Contact: Darlene Heater, Executive Director, University City Partners
Office: 704-688-2483


Mobile App Showcase By Intern Davarion David: