The strong bond between Mount St. Mary’s and the Daughters of Charity has endured for over two centuries, ever since the foundress of the order, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, resided at The Mount and taught local children in the adjoining Grotto. It’s only natural that the relationship should extend to Mother Seton School (MSS), a sponsored work of the Daughters and direct descendant of the first Catholic elementary school founded in the United States in 1810 by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. The thriving partnership between America’s second oldest Catholic university and the oldest Catholic elementary school was recently highlighted through the donation of ten laptops, which had been converted to Chromebooks, to Mother Seton School’s technology program.

Working with Professor Athar Rafiq, students majoring in computer science, cybersecurity, and math completed a service learning project to retrofit electronically and physically clean and test the laptop computers, which had been replaced after being in use at the Mount for three years. The Mount students who devoted the most effort to this initiative are Chandler Bankos, Vu Do, Eric Fierro, Christian Hill, Danny Stanley, J’Dan Vaughn, and Sergio Villafane.

“We are grateful to Dr. Rafiq and his students for providing us these tools,” said Sister Brenda Monahan, D.C., principal of Mother Seton School. “They help move us toward our goal of providing 1:1 computing devices to our students for use in small group instruction and STEM experiences.”

Not only do Mount students receive valuable technical and, more importantly, service-oriented learning experience, but MSS students and teachers benefit in their teaching and learning initiatives from these laptops, which the Mount students converted to Chromebooks. The sustainability initiative also avoids the cost of piling these laptops in landfills, which complements the Green School status of MSS.

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