155 refurbished laptop, desktop computers given to Navarro Middle School students in need

HOUSTON – In Houston’s historic Second Ward, Marissa Barrera, a single mom of three daughters, is living out a history-making moment all their own. For the first time ever, her children are walking home holding a new laptop computer. It’s something they never dreamed they would have.

It’s a machine that will, for the first time, allow Barrera’s daughters to go to school and learn virtually over the Internet.

Marissa is moved to tears by this gift saying simply, “I really did not think this could happen for us. It means so much to me.”

“You see, I was so worried that my daughters were going to fall way behind in school. How are they going to learn virtually when they don’t have the tools, there is no hope then,” Marissa said.

In fact, up to now, 14-year-old Erica had struggled many weeks trying to attend class virtually over her phone but it never worked.

How could it work on just a phone?

“It was sad. I mean, sometimes the lessons that I was on would just appear and then disappear on the phone, so I was falling way behind in class. I couldn’t help it,” Erica said.

Now, thanks to Compudopt, the Morales Memorial Foundation, and state representative Christina Morales, a total of 155 refurbished laptop and desktop computers are being given away to needy children at Navarro Middle School on Houston’s eastside.

“You don’t know what this means. Now, my kids can learn and do their school work online like everyone else.  They will be able to go to school and learn. I didn’t think this would happen. Not now,” Marissa said.

“They are giving me the chance now not to fall behind and giving me the ability to do things,” Erica, Marissa’s daughter, said, while looking at the shiny new IBM Think Pad.


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Emmy-winning investigative reporter, insanely competitive tennis player, skier, weightlifter, crazy rock & roll drummer (John Bonham is my hero). Husband to Veronica and loving cat father to Bella and Meemo.