New Trier High School after school club refurbishes, donates technology to students in need

WINNETKA, Ill. (WLS) -- Students in the Binary Heart after school club at New Trier High School are making what is old new again by refurbishing computers.
The after school club Binary Heart collects used electronics for repair and then donate to students in lower income areas, sharing knowledge and breathing new life into old technology.

Marzuk Rashid is the club's president.

"Often times these devices, they might be a few years old but they are still useful if you know how to fix them and refresh them with the latest software and things like that," he said. "With the refurbished devices we donate them to kids who need them and don't have access to computers, and we hope we can help them through their educational pursuits."
Rashid said the idea came together among a group of friends but in the first year has spread to nearly 75 students currently taking part.

"I think it's really the aspect that we are all working together towards a common goal and I love watching every week members come in to the club and go get a task, they bring their friends and having fun working on a computer that they know eventually will eventually help somebody else," he said.

The club is educational as well as charitable. There is no required knowledge of computer repair or software technology needed to join. Founders of the group created Binary Heart academy to make sure all are welcome to learn.

"I would describe it as an opportunity. It's an opportunity where you can help yourself by learning about computers," said Irene Xu, a member of Binary Heart. "I feel like computers are essential to learning and it creates this barrier between those who have computers and those who don't. With access to the internet you get access to so much more information and so many more resources that I think are vital to higher education."
Even though the club is only in its second year, its members already have big expectations for the future.

"My goal is for Binary Heart to be an opportunity for every student in America," Rashid said. "I think it's just such a great thing that high school students can come together, learn how to repair computers, learn about technology and get these skills that are essential in the future and help people with doing that."

So far 86 devices have been donated and nearly 40 more are in the works to be donated next month.

Binary Heart is always looking for more donations. Visit the club's website for more information.
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