Through Laptop Upcycle, students help schoolmates gain access to computers by refurbishing used laptops. Here, Charles Ehlis, Laptop Upcycle board member Mike Brown, Josh Wiederhorn, and Max Waitz work on recently donated machines. COURTESY JON BONESTEEL FOR LAPTOP UPCYCLE

Montclair’s Laptop Upcycle, a nonprofit organization that repairs and refurbishes unwanted laptops to distribute to students that don’t have access to computers, is partnering with Ramapo College.

The new initiative launches in mid-November with a donation drive. Once enough laptops are donated, students who meet program eligibility criteria will be able to apply to receive and keep repaired or refurbished laptops free of charge.

The program is supported by a grant from the Ramapo College Foundation

“We are thrilled about the expansion of Laptop Upcycle to Ramapo College. Not only does it further our mission to close the digital divide, teach more students about computer repairs and keep computers out of the landfills, but it now engages college students who have similar needs to high schoolers,”  Mike Brown, Laptop Upcycle’s strategic director and intern coordinator at its Montclair headquarters, said in an announcement from the group. “Our hope is that Ramapo College becomes the first of many Laptop Upcycle community programs. We encourage local individuals, organizations and corporations to support Ramapo and local students by donating surplus laptops.”

Several social work students are helping organize much of the day-to-day operations of the program, and trained student assistants will begin performing the repairs and refurbishments.

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“Consistent access to technology is crucial to a college student’s success, and we, at Ramapo College, are committed to supporting our students from the first day they step foot on campus through their graduation and beyond,” Susan Gaulden, Ramapo’s interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, said. “We are truly excited about and committed to our partnership with Laptop Upcycle, as the initiative will ensure our students are able to secure the technology they need in order to have the best possible academic experience and greatest chance of academic success.”