NEW YORK, April 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- "There's nothing more rewarding or satisfying than the ability to 'give back' to your community," said Bill Talbot, President of Technical Career Institutes, Inc. (TCI). "And, when your school's charitable contributions make the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll – With distinction for General Community Service - that's icing on the cake."
Robert Lubell, a Humanities Instructor at TCI, founded the Dare to Dream project in 1993. Dare to Dream is run by the students at TCI who contribute their time and skills into projects that enrich the lives of others.
Dare to Dream has hosted numerous events that support the physically challenged, the terminally ill, children with HIV/AIDS, leukemia and sickle cell, Veterans and senior citizens. Hospital parties, blood drives, food drives, and walk-a-thons are also part of their outreach activities. Lubell raised $15,000 for victims of 9/11 and students volunteered at a local restaurant, which was open 24/7 during the search and rescue period, by serving rescue workers and repairing electrical equipment. Student volunteers also were involved in renovating apartments for the physically challenged. The Oklahoma City Bombing and The Tsunami Disaster in Indonesia are yet two other examples of how TCI students and faculty got involved to make a difference both nationally and internationally.
Lubell, after years of success with Dare to Dream, saw the need of intertwining technology with his efforts; so he founded Dare to Repair, and it became the technical arm of Dare to Dream, which is also run by students who refurbish donated computers and other equipment so they can be given to selected recipients such as veterans, seniors, the disabled and selected hardship cases.
Lubell partnered on this effort with one of his former students, Manny Crespo, TCI's Senior Admissions Representative. Crespo is a TCI graduate with a 3.87 G.P.A., five time Deans list honoree and two time Presidential scholar and President of Dare to Dream / Dare to Repair. Crespo was the Coordinator/Supervisor of Dare to Repair at TCI from January 2005 until January 2011. Under Crespo's leadership, Dare to Repair expanded technology like never before due to Crespo's Networking Technology concentration at TCI. His accomplishments during his tenure were setting up computer labs in hospitals, veterans centers, churches, non-profits, community and day care centers, and making personal visits to the home bound for technical support and delivery of personal computers, just to name a few. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, TCI, Dare to Dream and Dare to Repair, in cooperation with USA Harvest, raised $275,000 and Crespo went to New Orleans to set up a lab at the outreach facility of the New Orleans Mission and donated 25 computers, 25 air conditioners, and a refrigerator to the mission. An honorable mention to Robert Denson one of TCI's most tenured instructors, and HVAC-R Guru. Denson accompanied Lubell and Crespo to New Orleans and played a major role in reviving the main freezer at the mission which was dead, due to Hurricane Katrina. With the freezer up and running, the mission was then able to store the perishable donations coming from all over the country. And, as a result, TCI made the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Dare to Dream and Dare to Repair have also partnered up to teach free computer training classes to vets, seniors and the disabled…registering over 100 individuals per semester. "After two semesters of training, an individual qualifies for a free refurbished computer," Crespo added.
Akey Taveras, TCI's Data Center Manager, is in charge of overseeing the Dare to Dream/Dare to Repair program that allows students to build skills based on real world experiences, while also giving back to our community. He is responsible for assigning real world tasks and following up with their daily duties. Taveras is also in charge of coordinating and approving donations across the tri-state area. "I'm able to provide the students with real world scenarios that they observe and experience before taking on a real world job," said Taveras. "This motivates students to think outside the box and truly exercise the power of self-motivation and team work. They understand the need to focus on their individual role while keeping in mind the big picture."
Taveras has a ten year background in Information Technology, and has been involved in different aspects of technology in the work field. For example, for the State of Pennsylvania, he built a Microsoft SQL cluster that hosted the 2008 election when Obama was elected president. "These experiences have allowed me to pass on valuable information to our technology related major students that are enrolled in this program. Students that enter this program leave with a clear career path on what they truly want to pursue with more passion and determination," added Taveras.
"It's remarkable how many students find time during their TCI school year to offer help where help is most needed," said Lubell. "Many of our students discover that helping others can help take your mind off your own problems and enable you to see the bigger picture. Once you see the difference you can make in another person's life, your own problems can seem smaller and more manageable," added Lubell.
Lubell said that over the past 15 years, one computer lab has multiplied into many labs set up in numerous locations all over the city. One computer class for a handful of seniors has grown to three large classes weekly of 100 seniors, vets and disabled individuals. "And, the ratio of volunteers has increased four times from the inception of the program," said Lubell.
For more than 100 years, Technical Career Institutes has inspired students in college career paths to lead brighter and more fulfilling futures. TCI's reputation for excellence in education is underscored by its dual accreditation from the New York State Board of Regents and by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. TCI's broad-based curricula offers diverse state-of-the-industry training at the Associate's Degree level taught by more than 300 highly qualified faculty.
Founded in 1909, under the leadership of Nobel Prize recipient Guglielmo Marconi, TCI was a leading center for education and development in the communications industry. Later, the school was propelled forward by graduate David Sarnoff, pioneer of American commercial radio and television, and co-founder of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC).
Today, TCI serves more than 4,300 students in a spring or fall semester with 19 academic degree programs and three certificate programs that focus on Engineering, Information Technology, Facilities Healthcare, Business, Paralegal, New Media Technologies and many other career paths.
The College, located at 320 W. 31st Street in Mid-town Manhattan, offers flexible and convenient schedules for its students to attend class and achieve their goals while recognizing that today's students have busy, multi-faceted lifestyles.
TCI's student body is richly diverse and the highly trained staff of counselors offers students a wealth of experiences. Financial aid, which may be available from both state and federal sources, assist high school graduates, GED holders and those seeking higher education without a high school diploma or GED.
SOURCE Technical Career Institutes