Holy Cross Parish
The computer lab at Holy Cross provides a convenient and safe work space for high school and college students who would not otherwise have access to computers. The eight computers in the lab are available six days a week and are equipped with word processing, project-presentation, and spreadsheet programs. They are also networked for printer access and Internet use.
Youth must be attending school to use the lab, because it exists mainly for use on homework and professional activities. Adults are available to help students navigate any unfamiliar programs or technical problems, as well as to ensure that all lab rules are respected. The staff occasionally offers workshops to improve the students’ computer literacy; these additional sessions ensure that young people have a working proficiency in the computer skills they need to be successful academically and professionally.
Encouraging students in their school work and professional endeavors is key to keeping them out of gangs and off the street. Without regular access to the technology needed to complete their assignments, students risk falling behind and putting themselves at risk of dropping out. The lab also helps young people find and find and apply for jobs, further support that can help keep them on the right track.
Access to a good education and the resources needed to get it isn’t just about crime and poverty prevention; it’s about creating an environment where youth can grow into creative thinkers and problem-solvers. Access to basic technology has become a central necessity for all of these goals. The dropout, truancy, and attendance rates at local schools along with their standardized test scores are considerably worse than state and national averages. Programs that provide academic support are more important than ever.