When Tech Data launched its Giving … Back to School initiative in August, the response we received was overwhelming. The work our nonprofit partners continue to do for our communities is nothing short of awe-inspiring, so we decided to shine the spotlight on a few of the incredible organizations that earned the votes of our colleagues this summer.
But don’t take our word for it — get to know them in their own words. Learn more about our mission statement and what we do to support our community in the video below!
Who we are and what we believe
With 30% of teenagers and children facing homelessness in just the state of Arizona, Pappas Kids Schoolhouse Foundation began in 2005 to support the two largest schools in the United States dedicated to educating homeless and underprivileged students.
Although the schools are no longer open, our mission remains the same: ensuring students within these communities have access to all the resources they need to succeed not only in high school, but to pursue a higher education as well.
How Tech Data and “Giving .. Back to School” has helped
In regards to this extraordinary grant, Pappas Kids is excited to develop and grow the support and technology that we make available to homeless, underprivileged and at risk-youth. With Covid-19 making it imperative for technology to be available for distance learning, we provide: tutoring assistance for children that are behind academically due to the interrupted school year, internet access for all children to continue their classwork, and school supplies readily available for children in need. We are working to establish a strong emergency fund that would continue to provide items needed for students struggling to succeed. Agencies like ours must plan ahead so that we may prevent any future interruptions of support available to this fragile population of youth.
With the 2020 year ending abruptly, we anticipated the requests for these types of support will increase significantly — as we have already seen a spike. We ended the last school year by funding $10,500 to supply mobile hot spots to children without access to their remote learning programs. In addition to this, we worked with local school districts to provide the technology necessary for them to succeed during the periods of learning from home. We have seen many struggles as the new school year has begun and the homeless population of children that are statistically already behind are now facing more extreme obstacles. Working with agencies that provide tutoring assistance to struggling seniors is now more necessary than ever before; these children deserve an opportunity to complete their high school education on time and with confidence.
With the 2020-2021 school year already in session, Pappas Kids is receiving a record number of requests for school supplies. Since July 2020, our agency has already distributed 6,200 backpacks filled with more than 208,816 school supply items, providing families with the basic educational tools to assist with distance learning and alleviating some of the struggles these children have.
In short, this generosity is opening doors and extending support to more children in need and allows us to continue being an educational safety net for struggling homeless, underprivileged and at-risk youth throughout the State of Arizona. For this, we will be forever grateful to Tech Data. Thank you for helping us change the direction of Arizona’s most vulnerable populations of youth.
Our Success Stories
Some of our Pappas Kids are excited to connect with you and share their experiences! Follow the journeys of Haley and Makenzi below…
Now a student at Arizona State University, Haley sheds light on the importance of education and hard work, and discusses her experience with our foundation. Click on the video below to hear Haley’s story!
Makenzi’s goal is to graduate in four years with consecutive degrees in business law and business technology. Despite running into several roadblocks, technical issues and difficulty purchasing access codes for her classes, Makenzi was determined to succeed this academic semester.
“Each time I open my laptop computer for school, I am reminded of what Pappas Kids’ Destination Diploma has provided for me. After graduating from high school, I was generously supplied my first personal laptop from the program. However, like with most technology, my computer started to run slower with each use and began having other issues before it reached a year old. That is when I was offered to go shopping with Dayna for a new one. After picking out the perfect computer for me, I was ecstatic when I was able to pick out a laptop case for protection, along with a Bamboo Ink pen to make taking notes more convenient. Doing my homework between classes and while on the bus has never been easier and has relieved a lot of stress from my college life. This semester, I was also struggling with buying access codes for my online homework, and did not want to fail any assignments due to a lack of access. I was able to rely on Destination Diploma to help me promptly cover the costs for my success.
My mission for college is to graduate with consecutive degrees in business law and business technology in the span of four years. One goal I have accomplished is to help incoming freshmen. I did this by joining the residential community club on campus and becoming the president of my freshman dorm on campus, where I got to plan special events for my fellow residents. I also was able to obtain an on-campus job leading incoming freshmen and their families on tours, while also helping the students sign up for classes. I would still like to become more involved on campus and explore other unique opportunities that my education has to offer, like art. I do not know what I want to do after graduation, however. I often think about exploring options for how I can give back to the community or helping homeless youth through a service degree.
Destination Diploma is an essential program for me and others like me, as it provides a network of support in addition to school materials needed for success. With the help of this program, I am given the support and confidence that puts me on the same level as other students. I know if I need anything — ranging from something as minor as asking a question to something as major as needing a new computer — I can turn to Pappas Kids. Knowing I have their help fills me with reassurance and the ability to focus on one thing: being a successful college student!”
Keeping our kids at the heart of everything we do, we look forward to continue providing support for homeless and underprivileged children in order to break the cycle of homelessness in our communities. Get in touch with Dayna Sandoval, Director, at email@example.com to find out how you can help!