ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Two Albany brothers created a non-profit to refurbish old technology and donate much-needed computers to local students in need.
Ethan and Jake Bowden have been joined at the hip since they were babies. Therefore, it’s no surprise they both became interested in computer science at a young age. Currently, Jake attends Columbia University, and Ethan is a senior at Albany Academics.
In their spare time, these students become tech wizards. The Bowden brothers take in donated computers and transform them into usable machines for kids who can’t afford new ones. Additionally, the duo aims to spread a message that e-waste is a big problem. So, they created a non-profit called Reboot Tech in 2019.
Their mission has two parts. They’re not only putting a dent in computers sitting in landfills but also helping local children do their homework.
But how does the magic happen? The first step is removing and destroying the computer’s original hard drive through a “shredding process.” Then the brothers install a new operating system, along with Microsoft Office Suite. Finally, they add a brand new mouse and keyboard. This process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, depending on the age of the computer.
Ethan said the best part is the memorable in-person hand-offs to the kids.
“After I gave away my first few computers, and you really just see the joy and the pure happiness these kids have,” Ethan said. “When I saw their faces, I was like I want to do this forever,”
Ethan’s goal is to get a combined degree in audio engineering, music, and computer science. He also wants to “use all of these skills to help people as much as [he] can.”
Reboot Tech is taking in computers from the last ten years to refurbish. The non-profit also utilizes monetary donations to assist in the purchase of computer parts, keyboards, mice, and new operating systems.