Grants for Tech and Promising Futures funds at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque provide essential items to NICC students during COVID-19

Samya, a student at Northeast Iowa Community College, considered dropping out of school when classes went remote due to the pandemic. Thanks to the Grants for Tech and Promising Futures funds at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, NICC was able to purchase laptops and internet hotspots so Opportunity Dubuque students like Samya could stay on track with their coursework by accessing classrooms online.

The award was targeted toward NICC students participating in Opportunity Dubuque, a nationally-recognized, collaborative job training effort developed in response to local employers' needs for a skilled workforce. Over 25 students received technology. Students have said the mobile technology will make a big difference for their education in this new learning environment.

The new hotspot Randi Jo received allowed her to complete a child care course, stay connected with her mentors, and take steps to open an in-home child care business. Shelby, who depended the NICC learning center or visiting friends for computer access, is using the laptop she received through the program to keep up while sheltering in place. “This laptop is going to ensure my children and I have a great future,” she said.   

Danielle is able to type her papers on a laptop instead of sharing a tablet with her young daughter, who is also doing schoolwork from home. “I will be able to get all my work done in a timely manner,” said Danielle.

“Building a stronger community means increasing access to the resources people need to thrive, and that is exactly what Grants for Tech and Promising Futures have enabled with this grant,” said Nancy Van Milligen, Community Foundation president and CEO. “Putting technology in the hands of students who need it most will help ensure their education can continue through the pandemic and toward a successful future.”