As Maddie and I walked into the school that has recently started housing one of Avasar’s computer labs, we were welcomed by a pool bright bows, checkered shirts, and wide brown eyes. Trying hard not to be distracting, we hurried up the marble steps giving smiles and waves to the children who couldn’t stop looking at us.
Starting in June, the Avasar Foundation provided a fully equipped computer lab for young children ranging from grades 5th to 6th, ages nine to twelve. Not only is the foundation giving computer access and training to young women, but it is now supplying children, both boys and girls, with the English and computer skills needed for future success.
I watched as the kids rushed in and sat down, eager to disperse to their individual computers. They sat anxiously as they took their weekly test on basic computer terminology, having to spell words like “laptop,” “button,” “screen,” and “symbol,” and complete a fill in the blank section focused on keyboard functions. Afterwards, they scurried to their desktops, giggling as I smiled at them, then were instructed to turn their computers on.
Many knew where the power button was and pressed it with pride and some turned to their teacher, Sridevi, with furrowed brows and pleading eyes. Sridevi walked around, checking-in on each student with patience, then told them to open up “Note Pad,” type a word, and yell out how to spell it. By the time they got their words down, they shouted with enthusiasm, their voices full of accomplishment. They’d turn their heads to get a peek at us, some staring for approval of their spelling and others giving us a thumbs up. Their dedication and desire to do everything correctly was too cute, and pretty inspiring.
After witnessing their joy and excitement from doing basic tasks on a computer, I couldn’t help but think how much my experiences have differed from theirs’. I was raised with a computer in my home, often updating from one to the next, learning how to use them both in school and on my own starting at a young age. All my schools had computer labs, sometimes multiple, and laptops and computer equipment were never scarce. I never realized how much of a privilege it is to simply be given access to a computer–let alone posses my own–and have the knowledge needed to use one. Considering our rapidly changing world and its preference for those with technological skills, this advantage, without a doubt, has helped me move forward and experience success many may not due to lack of access and materials.
These kids, and many alike, have gone through life having not even touched a computer until Avasar came around, scooped them off their feet, and showed them their potential. They’re ridiculously smart and so willing to learn, all they needed were the resources to put their enthusiasm and brains to work. That’s why Avasar is so important. The foundation really does stick by its belief, “ability is nothing without an opportunity.” It has given those who are perfectly able the chance to succeed and shown that there’s more to success than how hard one works. Yes, hard-work is important, but having the opportunities and necessities needed to utilize one’s capabilities is more than half the battle.