Completion of the Desk Project by David Smythe ’22

    Young boy sitting at a desk virtually learning
    A student uses his desk moments after its delivery.

    Over the course of the Fall Semester, I completed with the help of the EDI fellows, a project that delivered desks to 18 students from the Hampton Roads Boys & Girls Club.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these students are learning online. With many young students confined to their homes, I wanted to provide them a workspace, that they could call their own, to assist with their distance learning. Though a simple addition to their homes, I believed a desk could really improve their school experience.

    After surveying a local group of students who were online, 18 requested desks. Each student then filled out a form in which they described how they wanted their desk to be decorated. In about two and a half months we managed to build and custom-paint each desk to match the child’s preferences. 

    On December 20th, Will Ward, Foster Kimple, and I went door-to-door delivering each desk and practiced COVID-19 distancing protocols to ensure safe delivery. Watching the students’ faces light up as they saw a desk with their name painted in their favorite colors was a truly incredible experience. Knowing that this project left a positive impact on these kids who are facing a difficult challenge brought upon by the pandemic, was a very satisfying and rewarding experience that I hope to repeat in the future.

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