December 22, 2000

Hilltop High Students Get Laptops—Thanks to Pacific Bell

Hilltop High School, in the Sweetwater District, now has a way to provide home access to technology for some of its highest-need students—thanks to a $35,000 grant award from Pacific Bell. Scott Alevy, Pacific Bell's Director of External Affairs, presented the contribution at the Sweetwater Board of Trustees meeting December 11.

Teens in Hilltop's Academy of Information Technology will check out loaner laptops to complete technology assignments at home. Seventeen students who are economically disadvantaged will participate in the lending program.

Pacific Bell’s Scott Alevy (far right) presents $35,000 check to (L-R) Hilltop High Principal Jerry Rindone, Assistant Principal Ernie Zamudio and Academy Coordinator Maria Suggett. The donation will purchase loaner laptop computers for students in the Hilltop High Academy of Information Technology.

"Pac Bell's contribution means financial hardship won't limit these kids in preparing for careers and the future," said Sweetwater Board of Trustees president Bob Griego.

Hilltop's Academy —sponsored by the National Academy Foundation— prepares students for information technology careers by integrating rigorous academic and career education curriculum in grades nine through twelve.

"Having a computer to work on at home really helps students master what they learn in the classroom," said Principal Jerry Rindone, "but, unfortunately, most schools just don't have the resources for take-home technology."

Hilltop's project director Maria Suggett says students love the Academy's intensive, hands-on learning because it gives them the advanced skills and experience employers are looking for. "And Pacific Bell's support has helped make their dedication to success even stronger."

Hilltop is one of only twelve sites nationwide selected by the National Academy Foundation to pilot an Academy of Information Technology. The Sweetwater district school shares this honor with just one other high school in California.

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