TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Softchoice, a leading North American IT solutions and managed services provider, is pleased to announce that POWER UP – their technology grant program for schools and students in need – will return in 2017 bigger and better than ever! POWER UP provides students from low-income communities with equal access to technology and high-quality 21st-century digital learning.
With the support of program partners Lenovo and VMware, Softchoice will grow the number of supported schools to 10 this year by awarding three additional $10,000 grants for classroom technology and adding a new city – Chicago – to the list of supported communities.
“We believe in unleashing the potential of people and technology,” said Vince De Palma, Softchoice’s President and CEO. “Through POWER UP, we have the opportunity to impact the lives of students at a critical point in their lives. By increasing their access to technology today, we hope to help them develop the technical skills that will be critical to thrive in the careers of tomorrow.”
Public schools across North America are struggling to improve access to technology in the classroom, relying heavily on parent fundraising to bridge funding gaps. This places schools in low-income neighborhoods at a particular disadvantage, since low-income families – who are already less likely to have a computer or internet access at home – cannot contribute as much to technology initiatives as more affluent neighborhoods.
Softchoice’s POWER UP program is open to publicly-funded elementary and middle schools in eight U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions, including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, Toronto and Montreal. Schools will be able to apply for a grant beginning August 21, 2017.
The POWER UP program builds on Softchoice’s culture of community service through its employee-driven giving initiative, Softchoice Cares. Since inception, Softchoice employees have donated more than $3 million to local and global charitable organizations to help provide equal access to technology and bridge the digital divide. POWER UP 2017 grants are generously funded through Softchoice employee-donations via Softchoice Cares, and partnerships with Lenovo and VMware.
“Softchoice has been a long-time and valued industry partner who shares our commitment to giving back to our local communities,” said Rob Cato, Executive Director, Public Sector, Lenovo – a founding partner of POWER UP. “We are thrilled to be able to do our part through POWER UP, and are committed to helping transform how students and teachers access and interact with technology to create equal opportunities in the classroom.”
“We are proud to join Softchoice as a POWER UP program partner,” said Tara Fine, Canada Channel Chief, VMware. “At VMware, we believe that technology has the potential to transform lives. Through POWER UP, we look forward to working with some of the most passionate educators across North America to provide students with the technology they need to succeed.”
For more information on the POWER UP program and how to apply for a grant, please visit www.softchoice.com/powerup.
As a leading North American provider of IT solutions and managed services, Softchoice combines the efficiency and reliability of a national IT supplier with the personal touch and technical expertise of a local solutions provider. Softchoice’s holistic approach to the technology includes solution design, implementation, asset management and cloud services, as well as access to one of the most comprehensive and cost-effective technology distribution networks in North America. We believe technology is a powerful tool in creating positive change and a better world for everyone. Our employee-driven philanthropic program, Softchoice Cares, focusses on helping to "bridge the digital divide” and provide equal access to education and knowledge through technology in communities across North America and around the world.
Lenovo is a $43 billion global Fortune 500 company and a leader in providing innovative consumer, commercial, and enterprise technology. Lenovo’s portfolio of high-quality, secure products and services covers PCs (including the legendary Think and multimode YOGA brands), workstations, servers, storage, and a family of mobile products like smartphones (including the Moto brand), tablets and apps. For more information, see www.lenovo.com.