Irving-based Vistra (NYSE: VST) announced this week it has capped-off a summer giving campaign to provide laptops to low-income students ahead of the 2020-21 school year.
The company has partnered with Comp-U-Dopt, a non-profit organization that provides technology access and education to underserved youth. Vistra’s $230,000 donation, through its retail electric brands TXU Energy and Dynegy, supports Comp-U-Dopt programs in Chicago, Dallas, and Fort Worth, with the funds going directly to the purchase of nearly 2,000 refurbished, free-of-charge laptops for families without a computer in the home.
“We understand that this school year is different than any other,” said Curt Morgan, Vistra’s president and chief executive officer. “We also recognize that the pandemic has disproportionately impacted low-income Americans, including those with school-age children for whom buying the bare essentials is challenging enough – to say nothing of bridging the digital divide. The need to do so is pressing: students without a computer are at risk of losing months of educational opportunity compared to peers with the proper equipment. Comp-U-Dopt’s innovative program helps ensure those children do not fall behind and are positioned for success despite the obstacles. We’re proud to support their work and look forward to continuing to do so well into the future.”
Vistra’s commitment to the Comp-U-Dopt program is part of its previously-announced $2 million donation to non-profits and social service agencies that provide direct relief for people with critical needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic in the communities it serves. This effort to equip students with the technology they need to navigate online learning is consistent with key focus areas of the company’s giving policy – to enhance educational opportunities and support community welfare.
“The COVID-19 outbreak and school closures has magnified the need to get more computers to students and families without access at home,” added Megan Steckly, Comp-U-Dopt’s chief executive officer. “Vistra’s support directly advances that goal and allows us to significantly increase our inventory at the most pressing time of the year. We are immensely grateful for their support, advocacy, and belief in our mission.”
According to the Pew Research Institute, 46% of low-income families lack access to a computer at home. With supply chain delays and the global demand for devices at an all-time high, Comp-U-Dopt’s mission to provide technology access and education to underserved youth is needed now, more than ever.
“Doing business the right way means looking beyond our four walls to take care of the communities where our customers and employees live and work,” Morgan continued. “All students deserve to be equipped with the tools they need to be successful, and we’re optimistic that these computers will provide them the confidence to tackle the school year.”