Over ten years ago Lawrence Cruciana, President & Chief Systems Engineer, became involved with an organization called McClintock Partners in Education or McPIE as a Community Partner.
Lawrence started a Computer Building club as part of their Family Nights program with Jim Reed. He consistently showed up on a weekly basis and taught middle school students how to build a computer desktop. The desktops were donated by various organizations and the children got to take home a working computer at the end of the semester. These were kids that had never been in Best Buy and thought the best job they could possibly ever get would be a manager at a fast food restaurant.
They now had some of the basic skills needed to work at Best Buy in the Geek Squad and have a computer career.
After several years of teaching Lawrence was going out of town and was unable to find a substitute. His wife, Heidi, ended up having to teach that night and her background is definitely not in computers! She created several activities including a vocabulary matching sheet to reinforce the names of the components within the machine. One incorrect answer that garnered a laugh was that a motherboard is a board for your mother to lay on. That started both of the Cruciana’s involvement with McPIE on a fairly regular basis. And, now the whole family is involved on an almost weekly basis and high schoolers are coming back and initiating conversations with Lawrence, Heidi and their girls.
It’s been proven (by outside studies) that our consistent encouragement and involvement has made remarkable changes for these students. They may or may not have consistency at home, so we provide an opportunity where they can thrive. Over the years we’ve expanded from computer building and have taught Networking 101 along with CyberSpy as subsequent courses. We have several high schoolers that now volunteer with us.
There’s also a father son pair that took the Computer Building over 5 years ago, and the son is now in college and the father volunteers in another area of Family Nights.
As a company, CIT, encouraged employees to volunteer and have provided software licenses for students as well.
You can learn more about Family Nights here: https://www.christprovidence.org/serving-in-our-community and even DONATE here: https://onrealm.org/christelca/Give