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Grants helping BHC students from 25 communities get laptops, internet access

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Black Hawk College is thankful.

In recent months, the BHC Quad-Cities Foundation has received three grants totaling $21,250 for the Bridge to Technology Assistance Program.

The grant money is being used to help BHC students who need a computer and/or internet access so they can take college-credit classes.

In an effort to keep students safe, the college converted its courses to online except those that required face-to-face instruction. Those classes are being offered as a hybrid with online lectures and face-to-face labs.

The grant money allowed the college to purchase laptops and routers with internet service that were loaned to more than 140 students for the Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 semesters. The grants also will allow the program to continue and expand to help more students in Spring 2021.

Thanks to:

The Moline Foundation -- $7,000 grant

The Quad Cities Community Foundation -- $7,500 grant

United Way of the Quad Cities -- $6,750 grant

Additionally, the Illinois Community College Board awarded Black Hawk College more than $7,700 that was split between the college’s Quad-Cities Foundation and East Foundation to purchase internet service for students.

“Through these grants, we are able to empower students to continue pursuing their educational goals,” said Zenaida Landeros, executive director of the BHC Quad-Cities Foundation.

“Not only are these community organizations investing in Black Hawk College students, they are investing in our entire Quad-Cities community,” she said.

Jen Holldorf, career and technical education advisor, works directly with students on a daily basis and knows the impact the pandemic has had on them.

“Having the ability to provide them with a laptop or router for internet can be one weight off of their shoulders and one less thing to worry about,” Holldorf said.

“This allows some students to have the ability to complete their schoolwork from home, instead of trying to find a location to access Wi-Fi,” she said.

The Bridge to Technology Assistance Program has helped students from the following communities in this area:

Aledo, New Windsor, Seaton and Taylor Ridge.