Service Beakers is a high school volunteer organization that brings free, hands-on science lessons to Triangle area students. This year, Service Beakers has worked to collect over 800 electronic devices to send to a school community in Honduras, with hopes of improving technological access and lessening opportunity gaps.

What inspired the work of Service Beakers?

My dad got diagnosed with ALS about seven years ago. He was initially a physician in the army, and he was forced into retirement. And mental-health-wise, that was pretty challenging for me, but eventually, being able to push through it I felt made me stronger. And it ultimately compelled me to want to similarly help other people if they’re going through challenges. So in November 2019, me and some friends launched Service Beakers, and the whole idea was to provide a more refreshing, hands-on learning experience for kids across the Triangle. For the past two and a half years, we’ve taught over 4,000 students through Service Beakers.

Why did you decide to expand from work in the Triangle to this project in Honduras?

I’ve been involved in St. Michael Church, which is based here in the Triangle, and they actually provide resources and materials to a sister parish in Honduras. And with the success we had with Service Beakers and empowering students, when I recalled this initiative that St. Michael had, I thought, “Hey, we’re having so much success in the Triangle, but there are students abroad that are also struggling, if not even more.”

How did you collect electronics, and how are you getting them to Honduras?

The Triangle is really well connected, and there’s plenty of phenomenal businesses and start-ups, and technology serves as the backbone for many of them. So we knew that there was an excess of devices, and we assumed that a lot of them were just getting thrown out. So with that in mind, we started reaching out to various businesses, and we found that we were exactly right. We reached out to probably over 100 businesses and only got a few responses back, but it was those responses that ultimately fueled this massive stream of devices. We’ve gotten over 800 devices, including laptops, TVs, monitors, PCs, you name it—and we’ve been going through them to refurbish the ones that need refurbishing, and any other ones, we recycle their parts to actually be used.

We’re fortunate enough that [St. Michael] actually has an annual transport of resources that they bring to Honduras, so luckily, we don’t have to handle a lot of those logistical details. We’re hoping to get that shipped out if not [by the] end of this month, around mid-April.

What do you hope the impact will be?

I certainly hope that the students take this whole empowerment idea and run with it. The whole goal is to really get their curiosity sparked and hopefully build aspirations not only for themselves on an individual level but also [for] their communities as a whole—to recognize the opportunities and see how much they can grow. 

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