Earlier this season Vince Williams reached out to help area students struggling with having the tools to handle the challenge of remote learning they were facing.
Williams teamed with The Education Partnership, a local nonprofit, to provide over 1,000 students in the Pittsburgh area with new and refurbished laptops and 'Tool Kits,' which included basic school supplies.
With so many students learning remotely from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for electronic devices has soared and Williams tackled it head on, trying to eliminate the strong divide that exists for those who don't have the basic needs.
On Tuesday, Williams took part in a virtual assembly with students from Perry High School in Pittsburgh, students who are recipients of the 'Tool Kits,' giving him the chance to get to know students and them a chance to say thank you.
"I saw how the world was going, how things were happening with the pandemic," Williams told the group. "I know God blessed me and put me in the position to help others. I just wanted to reach out and show people that I care. I am in Pittsburgh and I wanted to help the community out. I don't just want to entertain people, but also give them things they need."
The students, many of them leaders in the junior and senior class, had the opportunity to interact with Williams, telling them a little bit about themselves and enjoy some fun back and forth lighthearted banter.
But all fun and joking aside, the students were grateful to Williams for thinking of them.
"A lot of us, especially the seniors, have been trying to change the environment and what is going on," said Jamese Williams, one of the students. "When we started, we didn't have anything, so I would like to thank you for helping out the future generations at this school."
Even before the pandemic hit as many as 1/3 of students in Southwestern Pennsylvania didn't have the necessary school supplies. Add on to that the fact that students are unable to share supplies for in-person learning, and the need is even stronger.
As many as 2/3 of low-income families do not own a computer or laptop for remote learning and Williams' generosity is helping to take the pressure off of many as he is making remote and in-person learning attainable for those students served by The Education Partnership.
"This is an extraordinary show of community support, and it comes at a critical time for students and education as a whole," said Josh Whiteside, Executive Director of The Education Partnership. "The Education Partnership is so thankful for Vince's support, he truly is an excellent role model for our kids through his generosity, humility, and work ethic on and off the field."
For more information please visit The Education Partnership.