While most College of Coastal Georgia students spent the Thanksgiving Day holiday with their families, a small group of cyber defense students were doing community service for the Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Georgia. The computer labs at the club locations were in need of critical upgrades, and students installed updated operating systems, software programs, and computer memory as needed. Students' efforts helped to provide a safer, virtual playground for the children who attend the Boys and Girls Club.
The Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Georgia (BGCSEGA) has 10 locations that serve the local Brunswick community. The computer labs at the clubs are there to provide internet access to kids for homework and for those without internet at home. The project initially started in the fall of 2019 at the Terry Thomas Club, but was delayed due to the pandemic in spring 2020. Students understood how much the community would benefit from the upgrades and they were eager to help. When fully completed, the project will save BGCSEGA approximately $30,000 in IT operating costs.
Chief Professional Officer Brian Dolan of the Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Georgia, described partnering with the College as a "game changer."
"The faculty have been so supportive of the mission of the Boys & Girls Club and the relationships built between the College and Club are invaluable. The upgrades of all our technology labs have assisted nearly 1,000 local youth with technology needs," Dolan said.
Dr. Nelbert "Doc" St. Clair, assistant professor of Cyber Defense in the School of Business and Public Management at the College of Coastal Georgia, led the community service project, in conjunction with the Center for Service-Learning at the College. St. Clair understands the importance of giving back to the community.
"If my skills can help a non-profit by allowing them to re-allocate funds from their IT budget to service kids, I will help," St. Clair said. "Plus, the college students are getting real world training that can't be duplicated in a classroom environment."