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Nine years after Jonathan Latko, MBA ’03, helped pioneer the Temple University Computer Recycling Center (CRC), the digital divide in North Philadelphia is closing.
Temple CRC’s innovative tactics for overcoming digital inequality will be shared with the world June 4, thanks to its induction into Computerworld’s Honors Laureate international archives.
The CRC’s efforts to refurbish and resell used computers have given nearly 2,000 Temple students and Philadelphians access to technology. In most cases, the CRC charges only $25 for a new PC or laptop. The CRC also donates roughly 200 computers each year, dispersed among 20 to 30 community groups, to help establish computer labs in needy neighborhoods.
These efforts haven’t just helped to rebuild communities – they’ve preserved the environment as well. For every computer the CRC refurbishes, that much less plastic, silicon and metal wastes away in landfills.
Temple’s Computer Services department realized that CRC’s methods for joining social responsibility with sustainability should be shared. They recorded the CRC’s strategies in a case study titled, “Green Methods of Closing the Digital Divide,” and submitted it to Computerworld’s annual Honors Laureate competition. The magazine’s judges reviewed more than 500 applications from 25 countries before selecting Temple as one of this year’s honorees.
On June 4, the CRC’s strategies will be formally inducted into the laureate program’s international archives during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Temple representatives, including Latko, will be presented with a medallion bearing the program’s motto: “In Search of Heroes.”
CRC invites Temple students, faculty and staff to shop for computers using its online store at http://www.temple.edu/cs/crc/. Faculty and staff may also access free surplus office supplies Wednesdays between 2 and 4 p.m. in TECH Center Room 301. Questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.