Currently a second-year student completing a Bachelor of Business Administration at York University’s Schulich School of Business, Hamza credits the ComKids program as paying a beneficial role in supporting his academic career.
Before joining the program at North Kipling Junior Middle School in 2011, Hamza had very limited access to technology at home and little knowledge of computer programs. With one desktop computer shared between a family of five, his two older sisters always got priority. Having to always wait for the computer to do his homework led Hamza to procrastinate and not put his best foot forward in his schoolwork. After receiving his laptop, Hamza’s work habits improved drastically and so did his assignments. Hamza also found he could now explore the Internet, create emails, download antiviruses and Skype to video-chat with family members.
Hamza also found the educator support and police mentoring provided in the Lead & Learn sessions to be invaluable. “When [ComKids] gives you a new laptop, it is just the tip of the iceberg. It is more of a mentorship program,” he said. “I was hesitant to approach a police officer when I was little, but when we were able to connect with them through [ComKids], it helped to show us they are here to serve and protect. They are humans too.”
Hamza explains that because ComKids gives laptops to kids in less wealthy areas, it helps diminish the digital divide. “Chief Bill Blair said that where there is isolation, there will be violence. Giving support to kids helps reduce that isolation and connects them to others.”
Even though he graduated from the program some years ago, Hamza continues to remain actively involved with the charity. Hamza is a standout volunteer and student ambassador of the program. “[ComKids] gave me opportunities to attend many fundraising events as a volunteer and see how others are living.” he says. “It made me realize that it is not impossible for me to achieve my goals and have a successful career as well”.
Hamza thanks ComKids for helping him to become the confident and hardworking student he is today. “[ComKids] helped me become a more tech-savvy person, and gave me the support I needed. Thank you so much for giving this opportunity to so many students.”