|For Immediate Release (01-64)
Date: November 19, 2001
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952;
Dave Willingham, 240-567-7970
Montgomery College Employee Wins
County Award for Efforts to Close Digital Divide
To keep pace with changing
technology, Montgomery College replaces its instructional computers
about every two years, which results in a significant number of
dated, but usable computers. What happens to them?
That’s precisely the question
Derwood resident Ann Warner asked when she joined the College’s
Office of Information Technology as an asset management specialist
back in 1999.
Now, her questionR014and the
prodigious amount of work that would followR014have earned her a
Montgomery’s Best 2001 Award.
This prestigious, highly competitive
award from the Office of the County Executive recognizes exceptional
efforts on the part of individuals, teams, and organizations to
support the county’s guiding principles and programs.
Warner won her award in the category
of “partnerships,” which honors individuals who have developed a
collaborative relationship with government or private partners, with
noteworthy results or outcomes.
Warner began her mission by
contacting the Montgomery County Volunteer Council to see if any of
its contacts had computers on their wish lists. The response was
overwhelming. She wound up working with about 100 different agencies
over a two-year period. The result? Montgomery College donated about
3,500 of its older systems to nonprofit, church, school and county
Many computers found homes at
Scotland and Pleasantgate, two underprivileged communities in
Potomac. “The students are at a serious disadvantage in relation to
their peers,” said Alicia Beach Halverstadt, community resources
coordinator for the school system’s Bethesda-Chevy Chase Cluster. “I
think the term ‘digital divide’ was coined with these students in
mind. Your contribution makes a world of difference to these
children and their future potential.”
In addition to Warner’s newest honor
from the county, the Rockville Senior Center bestowed the Corporate
Sponsor Award to Warner this past May.
“All of the recipients have been
most grateful,” said Warner. “Even though donating the computers is
physically difficult, the emotional gratification I feel is well
worth it. The recipients write to thank me for the donations and
let me know specifically how they are being utilized. This warms my
The computers have been used to set
up computer labs in several private schools, Sunday schools and
child care centers. Some have been used for vocational
rehabilitation training, drug rehabilitation training and work with
disabled athletes. Others have found new lives in job training
programs, fire departments, nursing homes, Boy Scouts, humane
societies and serving the deaf, blind and diabetic populations.
“I am honored to have the ability to
make a difference in the community by simply doing my job,” said
Warner will receive her honor, along
with other recipients, at the Montgomery’s Best 2001 Awards
presentation ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 29 at Indian Spring Country
Club in Silver Spring, Md.