Gaye Johnson with the Kiwanis Club of Marietta’s Major Emphasis Committee said the students were interviewed by Marietta High staff about the role technology plays in their education and their personal access to it. Staff was seeking to find students who would be responsible for the technology and value the scholarship.
Kiwanis has committed to the program for two years, Johnson said. More juniors will be selected next year.
“We would envision it would be at least 25 more,” Johnson said. “It could be up to 100.”
Each student receives a laptop computer to take home. While the computer belongs to the school until the student graduates, students get to keep the computer if they have no problems. The program also pays for a location for the program to be based in Marietta High’s media center, which was used for its orientation on Jan. 24.
Along with Kiwanis and Marietta City Schools, the program was sponsored by Southern Polytechnic State University, which is providing technical support, with a goal to find other businesses and organizations to participate. Students are expected to have spent at least two years in Marietta schools, maintain a grade-point-average of at least 2.5, be on track for graduation, have no significant discipline issues and a documented need with no access to the technology at home.
“We challenged our students to make sure that they understand that this is an opportunity where their efforts are being affirmed,” said Marietta principal Leigh Colburn. “But this is also an opportunity for them to pay it forward to other students.”
Superintendent Emily Lembeck said she can’t thank Kiwanis enough for the gift.
“It is an opportunity for you to realize how much faith people have in you to move forward and make this world a better place in the future,” she told students.