Virginia STAR Program reaches $1 million in donations this year
Posted on 03/05/2019
VA STAR Students working on computer. Text: VA STAR program reaches $1 million in donations

Since July, the Virginia Student Training and Refurbishment (Virginia STAR) program has received over 4,500 quality laptops as donations, valued at $225 each, equaling over $1 million in value this year. FEMA recently donated 1,000 laptops to the program, pushing the total donations past the million-dollar mark.

Thirteen PWCS schools are a part of the Virginia STAR program, and many of the donated laptops that are refurbished are given to families who live within Prince William County. The remaining refurbished laptops are then given to other Virginia schools, and some are donated overseas. Since 2010, the Virginia STAR program has refurbished over 17,000 computers that were then given to families, schools, and community centers across the state.

The Virginia STAR program is an in-school or after-school club where students refurbish computers and work toward Internet Technology (IT) industry standard certifications. The program began in 2010 at Forest Park High School and has since spread to more than 80 schools in 48 school districts. Students in the program earn digital badges within the areas of hardware, software, leadership, innovation, and cyber security.

Many students use the knowledge learned to earn their industry certifications, while others use the badges as discussion points during college and job interview processes. “The certifications that students earn could lead them to a job straight out of high school, and one that would actually pay quite well,” said Virginia STAR State Coordinator Chuck Drake.