FORT LAUDERDALE — Students from the Hollywood Boys & Girls Club kicked off spring break with a unique technological experience at ARC Broward IT Asset Recovery in Fort Lauderdale. Students toured the facility March 18 and learned about electronic recycling.
The IT Asset Recovery is a nonprofit organization that started 15 years ago to dispose of electronics safely and securely.
Electronic devices, also called assets, are brought to the facility and audited in one of two ways. A simple audit readies an asset for recycling or destruction. A complete audit tracks the asset and remarkets it so it can be sold through eBay. All proceeds go to charities.
Twelve employees, some who have disabilities, work in the facility.
“They help contribute to the family atmosphere,” said Tomas Leon, director of the recovery program. “We’re motivated by the fact they have the attention to detail (that) resonates throughout the group.”
The program is one of three mission-based enterprises under ARC Broward, which began in 1956 with the objective to provide encouragement and opportunities to people with developmental disabilities. More than 1,200 individuals benefit from the agency’s 21 Broward programs. Money raised helps defray costs for services.
More than 90 percent of the assets received at ARC Broward IT Asset Recovery come from corporations. The Seminole Tribe of Florida is one of its contributors, largely because of gaming.
“Natives, in general, are very hands-on people,” said Dawna Bell, compliance manager for the Boys & Girls Club, who was joined by her daughters Kiana Bell and Adrienne Bell.
Tribalwide Boys & Girls Club youth events coordinator Tyrone Bryan coordinated the field trip after learning about ARC Broward IT Asset Recovery services after he disposed an old computer. Because STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is often incorporated into school curriculum, Bryan thought the location was ideal to teach students.
“I thought it would be good exposure for the kids to see how technology is broken down,” Bryan said. “We’re the motivators. It’s all about showing them something different. There’s a world out there that exists.”