George Lynch, former NBA player, and current head coach of the Clark Atlanta University men’s basketball team, aims to support student-athletes at HBCU’s and universities with access to laptop computers.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to impact populations across the globe. College students are among those greatly impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19. As the virus spread, nearly all campuses were forced to close, cancel events such as sports and commencement ceremonies, and send the students home. Lynch recognized that many students sent home to complete their education remotely would no longer have access to resources in need.
Through his non-profit organization HBCU Heroes, Lynch is raising funds to provide HBCU student-athletes forced into digital learning by the coronavirus with laptop computers. The HBCU student-athletes affected may not have the proper tools to engage in remote learning yet are oftentimes the supporting structure of campus life.
HBCU Heroes was founded with the mission of raising funding to level the playing field for HBCU sports programs by aiding in scholarships and resources to meet athletic objectives according to the organization’s official website.
“If you’ve ever been to an HBCU homecoming, half-time show, the Battle of The Bands or HBCU Classic…we don’t have to tell you how important athletes are to the sustainability of HBCUs” states the GoFundMe for the fundraising campaign.
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Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are jewels within American higher education. The contributions HBCUs provide to American life are indisputable. Through their spirit and the numerous programs and services offered, HBCUs are especially significant to African American families everywhere. These institutions are models of perseverance, hard work, quality instruction, meaningful research and service to their communities, which are cornerstones of the American family. Our call to action is simple – Help us supply HBCUs with laptops for student-athletes. The Coronavirus pandemic has forced colleges and universities nationwide to shut down and enact distance learning programs. While there are 107 HBCUs nationwide, only 30% of them currently offer 1 or more online bachelor's degree programs. Not only are numerous HBCUs ill-equipped to provide online classes, but many HBCU students and student-athletes also lack access to computers and the internet needed to continue their education at home. By providing student-athletes in need with computers, we'll assist with: *Increasing academic performance so students don't fall behind and risk academic eligibility *Increasing retention and graduation rates by removing this barrier to online education for as long as needed *Decreasing the digital divide by providing access to updated computers for online courses which many students and their parents otherwise could not afford Donate today at www.hbcuheroes.org. Your tax-deductible contributions will help keep our athletes on track while we all work together to fight this virus. #hbcu #hbcuheroes #combatcorona #covid_19 #calltoaction
Lynch attended the University of North Carolina, not an HBCU. His experience there contrasts what he sees now coaching at CAU, an HBCU nestled in Atlanta, GA near both Spelman and Morehouse colleges.
“I played at North Carolina, and what I have experienced at the small black colleges is totally different from what it was like at UNC,” said Lynch according to Forbes.
“Many HBCU student-athletes were using school resources, such as computer labs or the library to complete their assignments. Now they have to find their own. Some are even going back to homes where there isn’t WiFi to support their school work. Something has to be done to assist them.”
Lynch hopes to provide thousands of computers across the country with the help of HBCU alumni, professional athletes, organizations, philanthropists, and others who may have the funds to give.
“We are asking for HBCU alumni, philanthropists, professional athletes, corporations, organizations, etc. to donate to HBCU Heroes so we can purchase and provide as many laptops as possible to support these students. We are on a mission to donate 6,000 computers nationwide,” said Lynch.