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D36 Alums Use Technology Expertise to Help Students in Need

Through their organization Binary Heart, which is “dedicated to empowering the next generation of innovators,” several New Trier students are making a meaningful difference in the world. Seven million tons of usable electronics are discarded annually, yet millions of students nationwide do not have access to home computers or internet access. By using their technology expertise to refurbish computers and other digital tools to donate to students via Northwestern Settlement, Binary Heart’s members fulfill their mission to “empower minds to seize the digital age.” At a community drive earlier this summer, Binary Heart collected over 50 computers and dozens of other electronic devices.

Co-founder Marzuk Rashid (Washburne Class of 2015) says, “Ever since I started coding in second grade, I have been fascinated by the power of computers. However, when I learned that many kids did not have access to this amazing resource, I knew that something had to be done about it. By providing these students with computers, I believe that we can help them succeed through their education, and their future careers.” Daniel Hess (Washburne Class of 2015), echoes that “This allows students to flourish and helps them achieve their full potential.”

David Peters (Washburne Class of 2015) recalls how as a student in D36, “I was constantly introduced to new and exciting things...By allowing me to explore, I found my passions which drove me to start Binary Heart. It’s a great thing when you can use your passion and knowledge helping others.” Rashid notes that, “My teachers always accommodated all methods of learning, and my friends were always supportive. I think that this environment taught me to fully appreciate myself and others.”

The students reflect on how they have channelled their interests into serving others. “Find what you love and run with it. Apply that passion to do something for your community,” Peters says. According to Simon Hooper (Washburne Class of 2015), “I think it’s a good thing to use my free time doing...I wanted to help as much as I could.” Jack Eggemeyer (Washburne Class of 2015), “When you go to bed at night you feel like a better and more complete person.”