Special to The Dallas Examiner
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
Last year, 85.1 % of Dallas ISD’s students lived in economically disadvantaged homes and 62.1 % were at-risk of not completing school, according to a Texas Education Agency report. When students are at a disadvantage, the effect impacts not only the community they live in but the world around them. And with the majority of Dallas students facing a large educational gap, it is up to us to be a beacon of hope for a better tomorrow, representatives from T.D. Jakes Foundation expressed.
To help in closing the gap, the foundation donated 300 Lenovo V14 laptop computers to three Dallas ISD high schools: W.H. Adamson High School in Oak Cliff, James Madison High School in South Dallas and L.G. Pinkston High School in West Dallas.
The above-mentioned high schools have a student population of 99% minority students and typically rank in the lower 50% of high school. With a lack of educational and economic resources, it is nearly impossible for students feel confident in the classroom, much less pursue higher education. For example, Adamson High School received a 25.1 college readiness score out of 100, according to the US News Best High Schools List.
Now that students have proper technology and the ability to participate in increased STEAM studies, future graduates will be better prepared for college and careers that focus on STEAM readiness.
“We are so grateful to receive these computers for our students,” said Assistant Principal Heather Albuquerque at L.G. Pinkston High School. “More than anything, we want to build capacity and provide the adequate resources to our students. Having these computers and the ability to put these into the hands our students as valuable resources truly fills a very real void for us and furthering their access to equal education.”
The schools were selected based on its participation in the foundation’s STEAM Academy – Arts initiative in 2021 and 2022, which offered lessons in video editing, lighting and technologies that lined up with the musicals Hamilton and Aint too Proud to Beg. Both curricula served as part of the ongoing partnership between the foundation, Dallas ISD and Broadway Dallas, which uses its programs and initiatives to give students access to “the spirit of Broadway.”
The foundation endeavors to enable greater access to education and applauds all who work to achieve better learning environments and opportunities for all students. The foundation and all the students who are benefiting from the computers at Adamson, Madison and Pinkston expressed a heartfelt appreciation to the anonymous donor for enabling critical resources to be made available.
“At T.D. Jakes Foundation, our goal is to help students advance their education,” said Dr. Jennifer Stimpson, T.D. Jakes chief programs officer. “We live by the motto ‘if they can see it, they can be it.’ With these computers, these students can not only advance their education but also engage in learning about careers within the STEAM fields they didn’t even know were possible.”