Generously Giving Gadgets

Ariana Patel works with her cousin and his friends to help needy students outside of our high school.


PHOTO CREDITS: “Macbook Laptop” by Jeffrey Betts is marked with CC0 1.0.

By Connor Considine

Imagine a class with less privileges than our own, without access to the methods we have to learn, especially our technology. For many, these classes do not get much more than a thought, but for Ariana Patel, along with Giving Gadgets, they are people who deserve what we have. The organization, founded by Ariana’s cousin and his friends, is dedicated to giving low income schools access to laptops, and Ariana has helped with this goal as well as talking to the district about it.
“It was something I wanted to get involved in and help,” Patel said. “Also, my grandfather started a school in his town in India and was talking about the needs of students and that they did not have many computers for students to learn. Made me think how lucky our life is here and that we take our education and technology for granted, and I wanted to help make a difference.”
She has the same beliefs the organization has, stating that every student around the world should have the same opportunities as here to get a good education, and being grateful for how lucky she was in high school.
The organization has given $180,000 in laptops this year alone, but it was not the original idea of Ariana’s cousin and his friends.
“During Covid lockdowns, Jaiden Sutaria, Matthew Boecher, and I were very bored. In our large amount of free time, we came up with numerous business ideas, all of which failed. It was just something fun to do. Towards the end of the lockdowns, we came up with the idea of giving gadgets,” Evan Ites, founder of Giving Gadgets and Ariana’s cousin, said. “This was our first non-profit idea, and the aspect of it being something for others made it much more motivating to work on.”
The school has helped with this endeavor as well. When asked how the school has helped her with her laptop escapades, she said that she got the idea to ask superintendent Scott Rowe when she saw that the high school had an option to give back the previously supplied Chromebooks, or keep them for $25.
“I always want to help students explore how they can make an impact on our community or pursue their interests in life beyond Huntley 158. When Ariana came with the idea, I saw it as not only an opportunity to help needing children, but an opportunity to support building leadership capacity in one of our students by supporting a passion project,” superintendent Scott Rowe said.
While our district’s help has only been a one time thing, Rowe has said that as long as Giving Gadgets continues to help needy students, the high school will continue to donate its returned chromebooks to help them.
“It is incredibly admirable when our students realize the power and potential they have when they focus their efforts and leadership to building something important to them,” Rowe said. “Huntley 158 is here to educate, but also support the development of our students as people. I am proud of the work Ariana and Giving Gadgets has accomplished and look forward to supporting her and other students pursuing their passions in the future!”
Much like Rowe, Patel and Giving Gadgets do not plan on stopping their goal. “I would like to be a part of Giving Gadgets for a long time,” Patel said. “Even after high school. It is a great organization and as a student, I understand the importance of technology in education. I use our chromebooks everyday. Every student around the world, especially here in the United States should have the same opportunities as we do to get a good education.”
“Seeing schools and students receive technology they needed reminded us in the first place why we started. At first, our goals were small – we were hoping to help some Illinois schools out – but the amount of support and donations we received made it so we could expand to larger shipments around the world.” Evan said when asked about the high school’s donation.
If you would like to help her cause, Giving Gadgets has a website and updates quarterly with multiple ways for you to help out, and I would highly recommend doing so.