More Than Bootstraps works to cultivate a community of first-generation, underrepresented students who empower each other to access and succeed in higher education. Through near-peer mentorship and parent engagement, MTB is passionate about creating a world where every young person has the resources for success in higher education.
Revivn’s Tech Access program was thrilled to bring devices to the high school and college students in these programs. For MTB, this donation opened up space for other goals to be met. “Revivn allowed us to get our feet off the ground and begin our programming without choosing between student stipends and technology,” said Audrey Fisch, Ph.D., President of More Than Bootstraps.
She added: “We give devices to all the high school and college students in our program. They use them for their schoolwork as well as to communicate with each other remotely, complete the tasks for our program, and attend our full group Zoom sessions. We literally could not operate without these devices.”
What does your organization do, the impact it has, and your role within the organization?
More Than Bootstraps builds a community of first-generation, underrepresented students who empower each other to access and succeed in higher education. We harness the power of near-peer mentoring to make a difference!
I am the founder and president of the organization.
How did you hear about Revivn?
We are a young organization, just completing our third year of programming. Revivn has been with us from the start, supplying laptops to our High School Fellows and College Student Leaders so that they can connect and access all the tools they need to be successful in our program and in their own educations. We heard about Revivn from a peer organization, CARA NYC.
Can you describe your relationship with Revivn?
Revivn’s support is amazing. We have found them wonderfully easy to work with, even during the height of the pandemic when there were supply-chain issues.
What roadblocks were you experiencing that Revivn was able to resolve?
As a start-up nonprofit, beginning operations in Summer 2020, our resources were small. Having effective technology was critical to allow our students to communicate with each other remotely, but we didn’t have the funds. Revivn allowed us to get our feet off the ground and begin our programming without choosing between student stipends and technology.
Why are these donations from Revivn so crucial for an organization like yours?
We give devices to all the high school and college students in our program. They use them for their schoolwork as well as to communicate with each other remotely, complete the tasks for our program, and attend our full group Zoom sessions. We literally could not operate without these devices, and the ability to use repurposed technology allows us to reserve the funds we raise from grants or donations for the student stipends that give our students the time and space to devote to the program. The fact that we can offer these devices, stress-free, to the students in our program is part of our initial messaging to students just joining our program: you deserve and need technology; this technology will allow you to pursue your goals; you belong and are worthy.
Are there any specific stories that you would like to share about how this program has impacted your organization?
In particular, it's nice to use repurposed technology with our students so they don't have to be paranoid about damaging their machines. One student crashed into her brother at home and broke her device. If this had been new and expensive equipment, the accident would have been costly. It's nice that she, and our organization, didn't have to worry too much. Accidents happen.
As a college professor working with first-generation, low-income students (in my other life), I know how often my students are trying to complete their college coursework on a borrowed laptop or on their phones because their device broke or because they didn’t realize that their high school Chromebook would not follow them into college. These students begin college, and they are already at a disadvantage. Revivn gives our students a head start.
Why do you think other organizations should partner with Revivn?
I wish institutions of higher education (like my own – in my other life!) would consider partnering with Revivn to allow students access to these devices or even to have a supply of loaner devices for students.
What are changes or improvements that could be made to the donation process?
It’s working great for us!
How has technology access impacted the success of your organization so far?
The support from Revivn goes beyond helping us close the digital divide with the students in our program. It empowers students with unfettered access to educational sites and gives them the tools they need to communicate with each other and tackle the challenges of getting to and succeeding in higher education.
What impact do you see it having in the future?
We very much hope we can continue this important partnership!
Learn more about the work that More Than Bootstraps does at morethanbootstraps.org.