Six months ago, in the midst of online learning, Fairfax County teen Ian Wallace decided to use his love of building computers to help low-income students.
Wallace learned his love of computers from his father, who still keeps the original desktop he built in their garage. When it came time for his Eagle Scout project, he decided to teach students of immigrant families how to build computers of their own.
“Otherwise, they wouldn’t have a computer, they don’t even have enough money to buy one themself, and I thought it would also be nice since I know how to build a computer to teach them how in the process,” said Wallace.
The high school student placed an ad in the local newsletter asking for old computer parts, and the community delivered.
“I got a boat load of donations,” said Wallace.
From there, Wallace organized a computer building workshop at Annandale High School, enlisting the help of other Eagle Scouts to help build the computers. The desktops are helping students like Fatima Kamara, a recent Annandale High School graduate who will be attending Northern Virginia Community College this fall.
“She’s going to use that computer in nursing school and it’s going to help her graduate so that’s going to make a really big impact on her life,” said Wallace.
The desktops are also helping the younger students in the county, who rely on technology for their education.
“It’s helping me because when I have school work I will do it by computer. Thank you,” said Fairfax County student Tselot Yaregal.
Wallace says he taught eight students how to build their own computers at his workshop in May.