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Young Entrepreneur Series – Computers for Communities

January 1, 2012

Jacob Komar was 14 years old when Computers for Communities was founded. Jacob had always played around with computers: tearing them apart, seeing what made them tick and putting them back together. Soon Jacob realized that not everyone had a computer in his home, so he decided to do something about it.

He soon learned that kids who don’t have a computer at home statisticaly do not perform as well in school, particularly in the areas of math and reading as well as in projects requiring online research, and likewise, Jacob felt called to help bridge this digital divide. Knowing that he was capable of fixing up the old computers, his next endeavor became finding ways to distribute them.

Jacob found 30 old machines that were destined for the scrap heap. So he took them in. Just like that, Computers for Communities was born. Jacob refurbished and distributed those computers himself, and since then, Computers for Communities has grown. He has worked with schools, prisons and other organizations to refurbish and distribute over 1,000 machines to people who otherwise wouldn’t have one.

Jacob’s Computers for Communities has expanded beyond just delivering the machines: It has embarked on a campaign to teach people how to use them. The organization’s goal is to bridge the Digital Divide, the widening gap in America between people who have a computer and know how to use it, and people who don’t, and are therefore being left behind. In 2007, Komar was a Brick Award winner for his achievement in community building.

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