PECKHAM IN ACTION

When one of Peckham’s federal government contracts ended in February 2022, over 150 high-quality laptops and related equipment used on the project were tagged for destruction or recycling. Recognizing that the devices had plenty of useful life remaining, Matt Kolberg, Peckham’s VP of Business Services, went to work searching for a worthy organization that would be able to put the equipment to productive use.

Through community connections and some research, Kolberg came across The Fledge, a local non-profit community center with a unique approach to helping disadvantaged community members.

The Fledge supports many initiatives around entrepreneurship and workforce development. The organization offers two programs that Kolberg knew could benefit from Peckham’s soon-to-be discarded technology: the Adult Entrepreneurial Program for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed (ALICE) and the STEM-based Teen Entrepreneur & Mentor Program.

ALICE community members are part of the workforce whose income is not sufficient to afford the basic necessities of life. These entrepreneurs are at a disadvantage — they have neither the income nor capital resources to support creating a business. The Fledge empowers people by serving as an idea incubator and accelerator to help these individuals with their entrepreneurial efforts.

The second program – STEM-based Teen Entrepreneur & Mentor – supports youth with an entrepreneurial spirit by matching them with local mentors who work with them to develop business models, form pitches, create prototypes, and more.

After researching these programs, Kolberg contacted Jerry Norris, CEO and Founder of The Fledge, and the two decided on the perfect new home for the donated items.

Due to the sensitive nature of the federal contract on which the laptops had been used, the government required Peckham to have the components completely erased and overwritten multiple times. Doing so brought the equipment into compliance with rules surrounding decommissioning equipment formally used on a Department of Defense computer network.  Many of Peckham’s Business Services staff played a role in the lengthy process of readying the laptops for their new use. Without their hard work, the donation could not have taken place.

On March 3, 2023, Kolberg and a group of Peckham employees delivered approximately 160 HP laptops and peripherals to The Fledge for use in both programs.

Norris expressed The Fledge’s gratitude for the significant donation.  “I hope you know how many people’s lives this will affect,” he told Kolberg and the rest of the Peckham’s staff.

To learn more about and support The Fledge, visit: https://thefledge.com/

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