LTU donates 50 tablet computers to Vista Maria

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published July 25, 2014

SOUTHFIELD — Lawrence Tech University has donated 50 Fujitsu tablet computers to Vista Maria, a nonprofit organization in Dearborn Heights.

Vista Maria provides treatment programs, services and educational resources to victimized girls and young women in southeast Michigan.

In operation since 1883, Vista Maria’s goal is to break the cycle of poverty through education and daily living assistance, according to the organization. 

Charlene Ramos, director of help desk services at LTU, said the tablets were being phased out of the university’s laptop program, which provides every incoming student with a laptop loaded with the programs needed to complete their degree.

“We repurpose the laptops for campus staff, and then we sell laptops to staff at a discounted rate, and some we can donate,” Ramos said.

The donated tablets will be used by intake workers, therapists, the foster team, and many other employees at Vista Maria.

Associate Manager of Volunteer Resources Rebecca Hermann said the tablets could not have come at a better time, since the organization is working on becoming paperless.

“As a nonprofit with limited financial resources, we are extremely grateful for Lawrence Tech and their donation to us. The support we get from the community is amazing,” Hermann said.

Hermann said the tablets will allow workers to do their jobs outside of their offices.

“At a home visit, they can now type up case notes,” Hermann said. “They don’t have to have a therapy session in office — they go outside.”

Samantha Reid, youth and family specialist at Vista Maria, said she uses her tablet to assist her clients in finding jobs.

“I love the idea of being able to utilize the laptops and tablets in the field. As an aftercare worker, we are always visiting our youth in the community,” Reid said. “It’s great to be able to utilize the tablets and laptops with them, and help them find community resources, recreational activities and apply for jobs.”