MIAMI (Monday, June 21, 2021) â€“ 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 â€“ 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 yearâ€™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-ROCâ€™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.
â€œWe wanted these rising stars to know that having a difficult start to life doesnâ€™t mean you canâ€™t shape your future to be bright,â€ said Beveridge. â€œProviding 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.â€
â€œPartnering with T-ROC and One Laptop Per Child for this yearâ€™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.” Weâ€™re so proud of how our community comes together to make great things happen for kids who deserve it most.â€
As of January 2021, OLPC has delivered over 3 million XO laptops in 25 languages in 46 countries. OLPCâ€™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.
â€œOLPC 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,â€ said Mariana Ludmila, CEO of One Laptop Per Child. â€œIt 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.â€
â€œOur 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,â€ said Maria Tefel, Administration, Operations and Logistics Manager of One Laptop Per Child. â€œWeâ€™re excited for the new things these students will learn and the opportunities they will have thanks to this scholastic alliance.â€
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-ROCâ€™s program will coincide with the Academyâ€™s program.
â€œThis is the type of partnership that truly helps us achieve First Starâ€™s mission for our students,â€ said Maria Pia De Castro, Program Director of First Star University of Miami Academy. â€œThe 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.â€
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 thatâ€™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.