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CRP HISTORY


Rich Stompanato and Sun Kwok in 2008

Around 2007, Sun Kwok and several other local IT companies were forming a business partnership called the Naperville Technology Group. We wanted a community service project that we could do together. Rich Stompanato was on the technology committee at Kennedy Junior High in Naperville's school district 203, and he learned that a large number of computers were going to be retired soon.

We went to District 203 Superintendant Dr. Alan Leis and Chief Information Officer Craig Williams with some ideas about giving the computers to kids in need. They were incredibly supportive and we had several meetings. But none of us had any idea if a project like this was even needed in the affluent Naperville area. Dr. Leis suggested that we talk with Naperville North Counselor Carol Krashen. Carol said that she personally knew of students who were having difficulties because they didn't have a computer at home. They were having trouble keeping up with their peers, had trouble writing their papers for school without a computer at home, and some colleges were starting to require that their applications be filled out on-line. She estimated that there were at least 100 students district-wide that could use some help.

After doing some research, and talking to many folks in the District 203 administration, who supported us every step of the way, we determined that there was a need that we could fill. We learned that normally, District 203 would sell their old computers to a liquidator, making about $15 for a PC, and maybe $95 for a laptop computer, and that this year (2008) they would retire up to 1200 laptop computers

We knew we could do better. We knew we could better utilize this amazing resource that would have otherwise left our community at a fraction of its real value, and help a lot of kids. So Sun Kwok wrote the Original CRP Proposal to District 203 in March 2008.

There were a few key concepts in our proposal. The first was that we wanted to get the computers to the kids free of charge. The district could not expend any funds towards this as it was not in their budget. They would have also been spending money on a resource they were getting rid of which did not make financial sense. Not to mention that they could have gotten some money back by selling them to a liquidator. But the Districts primary mission is to help the students, not make money, and Dr. Leis and CIO Craig Williams helped us in every way that they could. I can't even begin to describe how much heart these guys have, their incredible desire to help kids, and their willingness and strength of character to make it happen.

There was no way that our group of IT professionals could volunteer so much time to refurbish that many computers. We had our work to do, so we thought, why not get student volunteers? This would be a great way for the kids to learn about technology. So we approached the district again, and they put us in touch with the Brett Thompson, who teaches the A+ Computer certification class at Naperville Central High School, and we came up with a plan.

We wanted this to be an educational experience for the student volunteers, as well as provide computers for their less fortunate peers. So we put these kids through the wringer. We made them fill out a "job application" and submit a resume. Then we interviewed them like any other job. At the end of the day, we "hired" every one of the volunteers, gave them some useful pointers about their resumes and interviewing skills. We thought that many of the students would soon be applying for jobs and this would be helpful to them.

Once our team was set, we started the next phase. We found out that we would be getting about 500 computers, giving us more than enough units to meet our estimated need of about 100 students. Based on our proposal, we thought that we could get about 110 computers done in the first year. But 500 computers is a lot of computers to move around, so we approached John Puscheck of Prager Moving and Storage for help. He said YES! right away, and provided the trucks and packing materials to get it done. They have been a tremendous help to us over the years, and we couldn't have done this project without them.

We got the computers delivered to Naperville Central, and our team of about 12 students went to work for about a week. Sun Kwok spent the whole week with them. The kids were amazing. They were able to finish pretty much ALL of the 500 computers in that first week. There wasn't a Phase 3 or 4 as we planned. We were done!

Next, was to figure out who to give the computers to. With the help of the counselors, we decided that kids who were on the free and reduced student lunch program would be good candidates. These kids can't afford lunch, much less a computer. So we created an application form for the kids to fill out. One of the questions, was an essay, about why they needed a computer. Some of the responses were heartbreaking.

District 203 Student CRP application essays excerpts – Student Grade level is indicated.

  • 10th   I don’t have one my family can’t afford one.  I can’t come early or stay late because I need to take the bus because I have obligations at home to help my mom with the baby.  Sometimes I fall behind because I don’t have a computer.
  • 11th  First off, it will allow me to take time editing, re-writing any of my essays and fully comprehend what I am doing as opposed to being rushed and not understanding everything that I have done.   Also, with a computer at home, not only will I just be able to use it to my academic advantage, but so will my other 5 siblings who will also be in need of it.
  • 11—I have four little siblings so this opportunity wouldn’t only benefit me but for my sisters too.  I need to stay on task in Ombudsman because I desperately need the credits I will be receiving to graduate.
  • 12th.    A home computer would truly benefit me and my education.   It’s so hard to get to a library sometimes, especially because I don’t drive myself (no car)   I really hate asking a friend if they could pick me up and let me use their computer; it’s just such a burden.   Also with applying to colleges and applications it would be so helpful to not worry if the times going shut the computer off at the library and totally ruin a paper or application that I spent a crazy amount of time on.  I love who ever came up with this idea.  Thank you.
  • 9th grader----I think that a home computer will benefit my education by allowing me to focus more on my academics at home.  It is hard for me to have an assignment in class, but not be able to turn it in because I wrote it out and it’s not acceptable because it had to be typed.  It will help me keep my grades up, I will be able to get into a good college and then get a good job.  If I were to get a home computer I would appreciate my blessing, and be so grateful as well.
  • 11th  Well I am ashamed that we can’t afford a computer, because my parents are all for my education when I need to use a computer I have to go to the library.  But sometimes I can’t get a way there.
  • 9th--     A home computer will benefit my education because this would help benefit my study habits.   It will increase my grades because most of the time it have to be typed and not hand written , so this means I won’t lose points on little things because it was hand written.   I promise that when  I get this computer no more late assignments will be heard of.  Thanks for letting me have this choice.
  •  11th   Here at school I am enrolled in Advanced Placement US History class.  Most of our homework assigned requires further investigation on top line educational websites, which at times, I would have to continue going to our library and finding a book that they may not even have to retrieve information.  Furthermore, my teacher would post assignments on BlackBoard meaning I would turn in homework weeks late since I have a hard time getting to a computer source.  I am a very responsible student and know how to take care of valuable items as well.

By September we gave out about 150 computers to kids in need. But we still had a lot of computers left, and we were going to get even more the next year. We couldn't impose on Prager to store them. So we came up with the idea to sell the excess units to the community in November. We brought in some of the student volunteers to help with the sale. So they had a chance to learn about marketing, sales, business, dealing with the public, and more. We had a community sale, and sold about 325 units at $250 each (new laptop computers were selling at over $900 at the time), and raised over $81,000, which we gave to the Naperville Education Foundation to support education in District 203. The Daily Herald wrote an article about it: You can read the 2008 Daily Herald full article here.

Once the sale was over, we found we had some immensely talented kids, like Dan Laubsted, Scott Rice, David Schneider, that we didn't want to lose. We didn't want to lose their skills or hard earned project expertise. So we asked for some funds from the Naperville Education Foundation to hire these students as interns for the CRP project. Over the years, as they grew in maturity, skills, and expertise, they eventually became team leaders and eventually project leaders - they did everything in the CRP program. We were needed only for guidance, to make primary decisions about the overall direction and goals of the program, and to act as liasons to the community.

The CRP program had grown immensely and involved almost every aspect of our community. Schools, businesses, youth, the public. It was truly a community level project. Nina Menis, Community Relations Director and manager of the District's business partnership program wrote up our story, and it got published in the John's Hopkins University prestigious annual book of Promising Practices, a publication read by many school officials for ideas. And, she submitted our work to the Illinois Board of Education annual awards ceremony. In 2009, our team recieved a "Those Who Excel Award", the highest level award the Illinois State Board of Education gives out, for our work. We brought our two student leaders, Dan Laubsted and Scott Rice, to Peoria to share the award with our whole team.

The CRP203 project ended around 2013. Over 5 years, CRP203 donated over 1100 computers to students in need, provided over 100 students with valuable computer skills, teamwork, and business experience through the CRP volunteer and intern programs, and provided funding to the Naperville Education Foundation.

Since 2009, CRP204 has processed 1,674 computers to give back to kids in need and continues today to provide educational STEM opportunities to volunteers as well as helping a huge number of economically disadvantaged children.

 

Computer Redeployment Program wins Highest Award from Illinois State Board of Education Sat Oct 24, 2009
R to L: 203 Superintendant Mark Mitrovich, Melea Smtih, Rich Fiore, Barbara Holtz, Dan Laubsted, Rich Stompanato, Sun Kwok, Scott Rice

Computer Redeployment Program founders win 2009 Kid's Best Friend Award

 

In 2009 we started a similar project with District 204.The project was run jointly by Sun Kwok, Jason Altenbern. We were joined by CRP203 team leaders Dan Laubsted, Scott Rice. They helped get our CRP204 project get started, setup the Windows images, trained the other students how to do the imaging, and helped organize the work.


CRP203 Team Leader Dan Laubsted helps students re-image computers in CRP204

By 2011, we decided to split the responsibilities for each project. Rich Stompanato would head up the District 203 CRP203 program taking on Dan, Scott, and Devin Stompanato - who all lived in District 203. Sun Kwok would take on District 204's CRP204 and build a new team comprised of District 204 students and resources. The projects were still intimately related and could call on each other for help, but overall responsibility was split between Rich and Sun for each district.

The CRP204 project continues to grow today, but there are some differences between the 203 and 204 projects. Every computer we recieve goes back to the students or to non-profit organizations, none are sold. We don't get computers every year, District 204 is on a cycle where we only get computers every other year.

Prager Moving & Storage is still involved when we need them, and Alderman Mervine of the City of Aurora has helped us get warehouse space to work on our project in past years. Superintendant's Dr. Kathy Birkett, Dr. Karen Sullivan, and Indian Praire Education Foundation Director Susan Rasmus has been very supportive of our work.

As of 2014, we have processed about 1,300 computers and given about 1,242 of these back to students - not all of the computers were in good shape. In 2014, we provided over 510 hours of service, and gave 528 computers to students. Our 27 volunteers this year are silver recipients of the President's Volunteer Service Awards, earning a certificate, a letter from the President of the United States, and a silver lapel pin. This award should be a very valuable addition to the student's college applications and possibly future job appliations.

 

We look forward to helping more kids in the future.

Sincerely,

Sun Kwok, Integral Corporation

Jason Altenbern, Community Relations Coordinator, District 204

CRP204 Project Leaders

 

A very special thanks...

It is often said that one person can make a difference. And it is true. Any one of us can have a huge impact on someone else's life. But along the way, if you have a great cause, an inspiring dream, and work hard, work smart, with heart and compassion to help others, you will find that others will join you, and you will find that together, you accomplish absolutely amazing things.

... A very special thanks to the folks who have helped us make the magic happen... apologies if we forgot anyone, let us know and we will add you!

... from District 203

Dr. Alan Leis, Craig Williams, Mark Mitrovich, Rich Fiore, Barbara Holtz, Nina Menis, Maureen Dvorak, Andi Pevitz, Shari Helms, Melea Smith, Roger Brunelle, Brett Thompson, Carol Krashen, Peter Catalano, Renee McIntyre, Shari Helms, and many more.

... from Naperville Education Foundation

Mark Trembacki, Pat Benton, John Miller

... from District 204

Dr. Kathryn Birkett, Dr. Karen Sullivan, Jason Altenbern, Betsy Reuhl, Brian Grinstead, Mike Plichta

... From Indian Prairie Education Foundation

Susan Rasmus, Kent Duncan

... From City of Aurora

Alderman Mervine

... From Prager Moving & Storage

John Puschek, Phil Monfils

... NCTV 17

... For your wonderful 2016 Explore 204 Video

... all the Students, Team, and Project Leaders, and especially

203: Dan Laubsted, Scott Rice, Dave Schneider, Devin Stompanato

204: Laura Mishell, Rahadi Lohman, Jack Gronenthal, Chris Danner, Todd Kuebelbeck, Andy Wang