Alexander McBride, a junior from Millburn High School, has started his own charitable cause… and despite his age it could have a powerful effect on the world.
Alex has started his own website, Laptops4Africa.org, which exists to help deserving female students in Africa obtain a laptop computer through charitable donations.
In an interview with Tapinto, the New Jersey teen shared his inspiration for the project and how it all started.
McBride has been interested in computers since he was 5 years old. By 13, he was building his own computer. At 15, after a visit to family friend Craig Leisher, social scientist for the Africa Division with The Nature Conservancy, McBride was asked if he could fix and refurbish an old IBM laptop.
After successfully fixing the computer, the laptop was donated to McBride’s first deserving student, Uwezo Masudi.
“We decided to focus on female high school students in Tanzania, particularly at the Kisa Project in Arusha, who are required to have laptops in order to advance to university.”
So far, Alex has been able to donate 21 laptops to these students. From an interview with CBS News:
“They’re just as smart as us really, but they don’t really have the — you know, they’re in poverty. It’s a girls school, and I know the graduation rate is exceptionally high.”
For his current goal, Alex says that he hopes to be sending out more laptops than he’s receiving.
“Our present method of delivering these laptops to East Africa is by hand-delivery with Mr. Leisher carrying them into the country. Currently, Tanzania has no import duties on used laptops and that’s ideal. Other countries charge a highly unreasonable tariff.”
Alex is using his exceptional skills to do exceptional things. Rather than honing his talents for his own use, he has changed the lives of over 20 young women outside the US.
Hopefully we’ll watch Laptops4Africa expand beyond Tanzania and reach both young women and men of different countries.
The project is undergoing an application process to becoming a 501(c) (3) non-profit with the Internal Revenue Service.