Students thankful for new laptops

By College Relations | October 9, 2020

Staples laptop donation
Matt Stewart, Staples; Bree Edler, Okanagan College student; and Pradeep Kushwah, Staples

A donation from Staples Kelowna is helping Okanagan College students succeed in an online learning environment.

In September, Staples donated laptops to eight students who do not have access to the technology needed to successfully participate and complete their programs online.

Bree Edler was one of the recipients to receive a new Asus computer.

“I’m in shock. I’ve never received anything like this before so I feel very fortunate,” says Edler.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Edler was a travel agent. With international travel ground to a near halt and her youngest of two sons entering kindergarten, Edler decided to follow her passion and enrol in the College’s Education Assistant program. A friend lent her an older desktop computer but she found it crashed often and didn’t have the programs needed to complete her assignments.

“With my entire program online this is something I really needed,” adds Edler.

Access to technology has made the switch to online learning more challenging for a number of Okanagan College students, says Okanagan College Foundation Executive Director Helen Jackman.

“Based on our experience, we know there is a significant number of students who have limited access to a computer. On top of that, we know there are many students who are starting their programs with a smart phone as their only means of accessing learning,” Jackman explains.

She says the College has worked to provide funding and computers on loan but the demand is greater than the College’s capacity. To ensure students have access to the technology they need to complete their education, Jackman says the Foundation has been reaching out to companies who can help.

Best Buy Kelowna has also donated several laptops to students.

To continue to support student need, Jackman says the Foundation is urgently seeking support for its Online Learning Fund as demand for computers from students is already outstripping available resources.

“We critically need donations to build the fund and we’re thrilled to work with community partners like Staples and Best Buy who are stepping up and donating laptops directly to students in need.”

Jody Janvier was one of those students who thought she could get by with her cell phone. Previously a millwright, Janvier applied for upgrading with the goal of entering a trades program. She quickly found a phone didn’t have the functionality to complete her assignments.

“I was so excited to learn I would be receiving a laptop,” says Janvier, adding it’s the first computer she’s ever owned.

“With this laptop I can get my diploma, and a diploma opens up new job opportunities. This is going to improve the quality of life for my family.”

Cathy Muzzolini, Staples District Manager for the Fraser Valley and Interior, says enriching students’ lives fits their values.

“Our company’s core belief is work, learn and grow, and education is a huge part of that,” says Muzzolini.

“We are quite passionate about the opportunity to extend our hands to these students and help them be successful in their future careers.”

As part of their gift, Staples also donated four complimentary semester passes to its new co-working space STUDIO for students who may need an outside space to study.

To discuss ways to get involved and support the Online Learning Fund, contact the Okanagan College Foundation:

Tags: OC Foundation, Student



Sign up for weekly stories


Communications student standing outside the Centre for Learning building at the Kelowna campus
Meet Ruth Gabriela Melo Flores

April 4, 2023

Q: What's your name? A: Ruth Gabriela Melo Flores Q: What's your hometown? A: Quito – Ecuador – South America Q: How did you end up at Okanagan College? A: Well, I studied for a bachelor's degree in Law in Ecuador. Then, I worked for a while and got my Master's degree in Government and Culture of Organizations at the University of Pamplona.  When I returned to my country, professional opportunities arose for me. I mean, a Master's degree improved my career. Spain helped me develop ...

Animation student
Artistic students design future careers in animation

June 7, 2022

Grads of Okanagan College’s Animation Diploma program are finding their skills have never been in higher demand. First- and second-year students showed samples of their artwork and demo reels to industry partners at OC’s annual Animation Industry Night on May 17. “Lots of the work was very professional,” says James Wood, Chair of Okanagan College’s Animation Department. “Our program is short, but intense. The instructors make sure the students have a realistic understanding of what they need do to succeed in a competitive and demanding wo...

JAMK campus
OC Business students embrace international study again

May 30, 2022

Business students from Okanagan College are once again able to travel to Jyväskylä, Finland to experience an international summer school at the JAMK University of Applied Sciences.  Finland’s education system is widely regarded as one of the best in the world.  OC Business Professor Blair Baldwin, who has taught Services Design at JAMK for several summers, says working in Finland has helped him innovate and create new teaching methodologies. “JAMK employs experiential learning across its curriculum,” he says. “They stress critical thinkin...

Enactus 2022
Enactus Okanagan College tops the field, sets sights on national championships

May 27, 2022

Okanagan College students will once again be competing for the Canadian title after qualifying for the Enactus National Exposition with a first-place finish in their league during the semi-final round. Enactus teams at post-secondary institutions across Canada competed virtually earlier this month, and Okanagan College scooped up top position in the TD Entrepreneurship Challenge, and runner-up in the Scotiabank Climate Action Challenge for the Unusually Good Food Co. project. It also included national runner-up in Shaw and RBC accelerators...