Yearwoods give back to homeland and elsewhere
Two UND employees—a Professor and Director/Instructor—in Grand Forks are working to enhance educational opportunities in North Dakota and abroad by funneling donated computers and software to schools and organizations lacking in technology.
Long-time volunteers Dave and Jo-Anne Yearwood want to help people in their homeland of the Island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean. Two reservations in North Dakota and a school in Africa are also slated to receive computers.
The couple has established the Jewel and Randolph Education Technology Foundation in honor of Dave’s parents, who not only supported the educational aspirations of their children and grandchildren, but also believed in volunteerism. Dave is a professor and chair of UND’s Technology Department, and his wife, Jo-Anne, is the director of the University Children’s Center and an instructor in UND’s Teaching and Learning Department.
The foundation’s goal is to provide computer-related technologies to teachers, educational institutions ranging from preschools to colleges, and organizations that work with educational institutions and adults. “The Foundation seeks to help increase the availability and educational opportunities to those who lack sufficient modern electronic tools with the hope that these tools can be used to provide access to 21st century technologies,” said Dave Yearwood.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota is the first company to donate outdated computers and technologies to the foundation. “We replace computers as they reach the end of their lifecycle,” said Tony Tardugno, chief technology officer at BCBSND. “The computers while no longer useful in the workplace can still benefit others. This allows us to be environmentally conscious and help others at the same time.”
“The next step is to raise funds to package and ship items, which is rather costly,” Dave said. “If anyone is interested in helping, please contact the foundation at 701-772-2873.”
“Our parents brought us to the United States to further our education, and we are grateful for that opportunity,” said Jo-Anne Yearwood. “We want to give back so others can enhance their education.”
In addition to monetary funds for packaging and shipping, the Foundation accepts donations of electronic technologies and software.
Dave and Jo-Anne are co-directors of the foundation.
Other Foundation board members are:
• Nancy Dutot, principal of South Middle School, Grand Forks Public Schools
•Dr. Denny Elbert, dean of the College of Business and Public Administration, UND
• Dean Gorder, executive director of the North Dakota Trade Office
• Dr. Tim O’Keefe, chair of the Department of Business and Public Administration, UND
• Danny Mastre, director of IT Infrastructure and Operations, BCBSND
• Gwen Puckett, early childhood supervising teacher at the University Children’s Center
• Dr. Lori Swinney, director of the Center for Instructional and Learning Technologies, UND