When Jack Sovern, a junior at Decorah High School, noticed some of his family members owned laptops that were gathering dust, he had an idea to put them in the hands of people who could use them, starting with his classmates. Sovern is advocating for digital inclusion in the community by his initiative he calls “Laptops without Borders.” He shared, “Having grown up surrounded by technology, I believe in equal access to the internet, a sentiment shared by the United Nations in 2016 when it recognized internet access as a human right.”

Sovern continued, “While many in our town take this right for granted, some, especially recent immigrants, face barriers, particularly during the summer when school-provided computers become unavailable. To bridge this digital divide, I have launched a project to refurbish old, unused laptops.”

Community members who have laptops they are no longer using can donate them and their chargers. Sovern will securely wipe all data from them; clean, repair, and refurbish them; then donate them to people in need in Decorah and the surrounding areas. These computers will be loaded with educational software, productivity apps, a web browser, and many other tools, including a user-friendly software installer.

To coordinate donations, anyone can contact Sovern at 563-419-1114 or decorahlaptops@gmail.com.  More information can be found at qrco.de/decorah-laptop.

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decorahlaptops@gmail.com.  More information can be found at qrco.de/decorah-laptop.

Jack Sovern gives computers to classmates.

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DHS students Agustina, Guisela, Jack, and Fatima