With an eye toward developing youth entrepreneurs, the Commonwealth Development Authority turned over five refurbished computers yesterday to the CNMI Office of Youth Affairs.
The desktop computers were part of the 10 the autonomous government agency promised to donate to Youth Affairs back in August. The donation was in partnership with PC Merge Guam and Saipan, which did $8,000 worth of upgrades and improvements on the computers free of charge.
“The CDA board of directors approved on Aug. 16, 2019, to donate 10 desktop computers to the Office of Youth Affairs. Mr. Ted Deleon Guerrero of PC Merge Guam and Saipan has not only reconditioned the desktops with new hard drives and software but also offered to provide continued maintenance of the desktops,” a statement from CDA executive director Manuel Sablan read.
He said CDA made the donation as an investment for the islands’ future, knowing all too well that from the many handled by Youth Affairs would eventually spring future businessmen.
“…This additional resource would serve not just a tool for learning but also an opportunity for our youth to learn business entrepreneurship in the Commonwealth. Both the Commonwealth Development Authority and PC Merge Guam [and Saipan] recognize the growing importance of technology in our islands as well as the unlimited potential our youth possess,” added Sablan.
CDA board members Ralph Demapan echoed Sablan.
“Our youth are our future entrepreneurs. This is just part of our community contribution to our young kids. I’m sure this is just the beginning. I think there are more contributions that will be done by CDA. Hopefully, as the kids grow they become businesspeople so we could create a local economy also and not just rely on foreign investment,” he said.
Deleon Guerrero said that CDA initially only called for help to upgrade the units’ outdated hard drive. “I said, ‘Let me do it better! My team could refurbish it for you, but instead of just refurbishing the hard drive, I will put in a solid-state drive, add additional RAM, and upgrade the operating system and add [Microsoft] Office.’”
Deleon Guerrero said his 18-year-old son was able to refurbish all five computers in about three days after waiting for a month for parts to arrive. He will refurbish he remaining five units once the ordered RAM also arrive.
Deleon Guerrero also offered to conduct computer-building courses for Youth Affairs.
“Talked to [Youth Affairs acting special assistant Roy Ada] and [told him] I would like to offer computer-building courses to the youth ages 12-17 so someday they can maybe open their own shop and help out with the economy. We want to find young individuals who are gifted with technology and would like to mentor them more,” he added.
Ada thanked the CDA board of directors as well as Deleon Guerrero of PC Merge “for these wonderful tools that our youth can utilize to conduct their research and explore options that are available to them.”
He also appreciated the willingness of PC Merge to go a step further.
In previous years the CNMI Scholarship Office donated computers to Youth Affairs, but due to the recent storm, most of their computers have been damaged.
“Only have a few for staff and our systems are out of date and practically obsolete. These are much needed tools for our kids, especially now that our numbers are increasing,” said Ada, adding that the initiative to obtain the computers was first made during the time of former Youth Affairs special assistant Monique Sablan.