In her job as headmaster for Margarita Muñiz Academy, Dania Vázquez knew that one of the more pressing needs for her high school students was the ability to use computer technology to conduct research and complete homework.
“Every single one of our school computers is in continual use every single day,“ said Vázquez.
On Oct. 4th, that need was sharply reduced with the unwrapping of 20 laptop computers at the Jamaica Plain school were given as a donation from the Boston real estate firm City Realty. The Muñiz Academy, the first dual language high school in the Boston Public School system, was one of five area schools and organizations to receive a total of 100 computers.
Other schools and organizations which received the Chromebook laptop computers were the Mission Hill School, South Street Youth Center, The Base, and the Rafael Hernandez School.
“We are very grateful to City Realty for this donation,” said Vázquez. “It makes a world of difference.”
At the Hernandez School in Roxbury, Sara Kilroy said she has been unable to teach computer skills to her students or to provide computer access for students to complete homework during her after-school program.
“I am able to come back to our school with laptops for our students,” she said excitedly. “Now we can use the extra learning time that we have to really make an impact on our student’s growth. It’s going to do so much for our students.”
City Realty has provided over 200 computers and 200 backpacks over the past two school years. Managing Partner Steve Whalen said the donation is part of City Kids, the company’s ongoing community outreach program to support youth educational programs and arts initiatives in the city’s neighborhoods such as Jamaica Plain.
“These kids are our city’s future,” said Whalen . “As a local business, we feel an obligation to help the schools and equip them with the tools necessary for a successful education. And as a father myself I can’t think of a better way we can help kids meet their potential.”
Among those attending the ceremony were students from the South Street Youth Center in Jamaica Plain, which received 20 computers.
“We don’t have enough computers. It’s one of our major problems,” said Corey Stallings, program coordinator. “This is an amazing opportunity.”