By: Li Ling Lee/Co-Editor-in-Chief
It’s 12:50 pm on the last day before winter break. Several students are called down to the high school office, but they don’t have any idea for what–no idea of their fate. This was the case for 12th grader Jubilee DelGado; 11th graders Hailey Tripp and Lizzie Smith, and two siblings, seventh-grader Ian Kohlhepp, and sixth-grader Cheyenne Kohlhepp.
It wasn’t long before those students discovered that computer specialist Rhonda Longbrake had donated computers to Blue Ridge for each of them–a laptop for each of the high schoolers, and a desktop computer to the Kohlhepps.
Longbrake says she was looking for a way to both give back to the local area and support education.
“Since I understand the need to have computers in students’ homes for their futures, I thought the best way to give back would be to donate laptops and a desktop to students at Blue Ridge.”
Longbrake has been working with computers since the 1970’s. She was a computer technician in the US Air Force working on mainframes stationed at Luke AFB, Sembach Ab in Germany, and at Cheyenne Mountain Complex.
After leaving the service, she worked at Kwajalein Island in the Marshall Islands working for the Army. Longbrake rebuilt a computer for students at High School Marshalese on Ebeye Island and also taught computers on her day off.
It is from these experiences, according to Longbrake, that she knows how important it is for students to have their hands on computers.
Longbrake says the computer has supported mankind in new technology and the defense of the United States.
“It is a part of our life now and it’s important to know and understand computer technology.”
For students, Longbrake’s donation is an appreciated gift.
Tripp, one of the recipients, states: “I was speechless. I couldn’t believe how sweet and generous she was. I felt really lucky to be chosen.”
Li Ling Lee is a Blue Ridge senior who believes that everyone should be proud to embrace their own differences. She may be insecure, but she continues to get by alright. #PraisinTheAsian