MIAMI (Monday, June 21, 2021) – The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC) in partnership with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) and First Star University of Miami (UM) Academy surprised 25 rising juniors and seniors of the First Star 2021 – 2022 academic program with new laptops and intensive technology career experiences that will lead to summer-long internship opportunities. T-ROC Founder and CEO, Brett Beveridge, greeted 18 of the 25 students imparting some words of wisdom and then left them stunned as they were gifted the brand-new laptops. The event took place outside on-campus at the University of Miami at 11 a.m. Monday, June 21st.
PHOTO CREDIT: Manny Hernandez
Receiving the laptops is a critical step in helping the group of Miami-Dade high school students, who have been part of the foster care system, participate in this year’s First Star UM Academy for an intensive four-year college preparation program. The laptops will go on to serve them as they continue their education and even begin their careers. As part of the partnership with First Star, T-ROC’s subsidiary companies, Mobile Insight and SYMBITS, created a tailored curriculum for the students and those graduating this year will join the T-ROC team as summer interns, with a chance at landing jobs as T-ROC employees to kick off their careers.
“We wanted these rising stars to know that having a difficult start to life doesn’t mean you can’t shape your future to be bright,” said Beveridge. “Providing laptops to these students will support their learning and enable them to get one step closer to achieving their career goals. I look forward to seeing what all these kids will come to accomplish.”
“Partnering with T-ROC and One Laptop Per Child for this year’s program has meant the students will have a great opportunity to learn and succeed,” said Kele Stewart, Associate Dean of Experiential Learning at University of Miami School of Law.” We’re so proud of how our community comes together to make great things happen for kids who deserve it most.”
As of January 2021, OLPC has delivered over 3 million XO laptops in 25 languages in 46 countries. OLPC’s approach to learning is child-centric, rather than teacher-centric. The laptop is a learning platform and teachers are important guides in the learning process, but learning belongs to the learner.
“OLPC did its first project in Miami in 2010. That project pioneered some new concepts. Partnerships became an essential model that we are now replicating across the world,” said Mariana Ludmila, CEO of One Laptop Per Child. “It is great to be adding a new project in Miami and we are thankful that T-ROC chose OLPC to benefit students of First Star University of Miami Academy.”
“Our goal is to educate as many youths around the world as possible and this partnership with T-ROC and First Star means that happens for even more kids in South Florida,” said Maria Tefel, Administration, Operations and Logistics Manager of One Laptop Per Child. “We’re excited for the new things these students will learn and the opportunities they will have thanks to this scholastic alliance.”
First Star UM Academy is an intensive four-year college preparation program on the University of Miami campus for youth affected by the foster care system. Students live in residence halls and attend daily academic and life-skills classes. Using a strengths-based and trauma-informed approach, the summer program seeks to ensure youth graduate high school prepared for higher education and have the supports and social-emotional skills necessary to successfully transition to adulthood. T-ROC’s program will coincide with the Academy’s program.
“This is the type of partnership that truly helps us achieve First Star’s mission for our students,” said Maria Pia De Castro, Program Director of First Star University of Miami Academy. “The kids not only benefit from the laptops, but from the relationships we will be building together with T-ROC and One Laptop Per Child as well as the opportunities for our First Star participants.”
ABOUT THE REVENUE OPTIMIZATION COMPANIES
T-ROC is a retail branding and consulting partner that supports companies in navigating through today’s retail shopping experience, redefining the power of people and technology. T-ROC offers a unique combination of people-based services, applications, technology management, mystery shopping programs, actionable market research and competitive insights that support the complex needs of assisted selling. T-ROC’s expertise and next-generation technology is delivered by a team that’s all in to drive sales, optimize performance and deliver measurable ROI for businesses every single day.
ABOUT ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD
One Laptop per Child (OLPC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide every child in the world access to new channels of learning, sharing and self-expression. In partnership with the public and private sectors and non-governmental organizations and supported by comprehensive implementation and pedagogical services, OLPC seeks to provide each child with a rugged, low- cost, connected computer that empowers individual learning and growth. OLPC is more than a laptop, it is a learning project. To learn more, visit one.laptop.org. To donate and/or fund a project, visit: onelaptopperchild.org
ABOUT FIRST STAR UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI ACADEMY
First Star University of Miami Academy is an intensive four-year college preparation program for youth affected by the foster care system. National non-profit First Star, Inc. partners with universities and child welfare agencies throughout the country to make a long-term investment in foster youth and change the course of their lives, from trauma to academic achievement and self-sufficiency. The program consists of four residential summers, during which students live on the University of Miami campus, and monthly sessions during the school year. The First Star Academies — now on 13 college campuses across the country — have significantly improved the outcomes of participating youth across the country. To learn more, visit their website.