Daily Point of Light # 2504 Sep 10, 2003

Jacob Komar, 10, a sixth-grader at Talcott Mountain Academy in Avon, initiated a program called “Computers for Communities” that has restored and upgraded more than 60 outdated personal computers and installed them in the homes of families that couldn’t afford to buy one. Jacob, a self-described “computer fanatic,” was shocked when he learned of an entire warehouse at his sister’s school filled with old computers that were going to be thrown out. He realized he could refurbish the computers and give them to people who could not afford their own. “I thought that by doing this, I would help a lot of kids get a head start,” said Jacob. First, he secured the school district’s approval to take the old computers, and then went to work on the machines – analyzing, trouble-shooting and rebuilding. He had to call numerous software companies to transfer licenses, and installed new software and hardware where appropriate. In order to identify those in his community most in need of computers, Jacob worked with the Department of Social Services. When the computers were ready, Jacob installed them in their new homes and taught 140 family members how to use them. As word of his project has spread, Jacob has received more computer donations, and he has recruited other students at his school to help. He also has received requests from organizations that want to start similar programs, and he hopes to eventually see the project expand to other communities across the country.