TDI Connect is a small all-volunteer group that is part of United Way of Greater Mercer County, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. TDI Connect creates partnerships and collaborations with regional socially conscious organizations to donate, refurbish, and distribute PCs and laptops to those in need.
TDI Connect works with community organizations to distribute the PCs and laptops where they will function most effectively to eliminate the digital divide in under-served communities and/or help students further their education. Last year over 1,250 PCs were distributed across the communities being served by TDI Connect in conjunction with 39 different community groups.
Starting in Trenton, TDI Connect has expanded operations to greater Mercer County and, in a limited way, to Philadelphia and south New Jersey. Additional geographic areas are being reviewed for support.
TDI Connect uses financial donations to purchase missing parts to complete each donation (examples: solid state drives, batteries, WiFi dongles, missing power cords, webcams and headphones for computers that are not equipped, etc.).
Most equipment donations come from outreach to businesses and organizations that are upgrading their computers. Outreach to these organizations, directly and indirectly through partnerships, is a key element of TDI Connect’s operations.
TDI Connect will benefit from Princeton interns in the following ways:
- Interns will cleverly exploit the wide reach of social media to create larger scale hardware donation opportunities that will enable TDI Connect to meet the backlog of needs for refurbished computers.
- Interns will bring social media skills that are presently missing in the organization.
- Interns will raise the visibility of TDI Connect in social media, and possibly more traditional media outlets, a gift that will keep on giving to TDI Connect long after the interns are gone.
- Interns will help with deliveries and provide role models for the youth receiving the computers. This is optional. (This may require limited, group interactions with minors that may be receiving computers.)
- Growing TDI Connect’s social media and digital presence in ways that can be templated, duplicated, sustained and eventually handed over to TDI volunteers. This covers both physical and digital outreach and messaging to hardware equipment donors, partners and recipients of donations – both individuals, groups and corporations (Pharma, Law, and Finance are the fields that TDI Connect has observed update their computer hardware the most frequently).
- Building a new set of computer hardware donors by creating new corporate relationships that will regularly supply TDI Connect with computer hardware donations.
- Raising the visibility of TDI Connect in the social media sphere in such a way as to attract potential partners for distribution and equipment donors.
- Representing TDI Connect in interviews with potential hardware donors.
- Assisting TDI Connect in creating messaging that will support the expansion of operations geographically and, potentially, the range of services provided directly or indirectly in conjunction with partners.
- Participating in the operational processes of TDI Connect including equipment evaluation, inventory control, hardware refurbishment, software loading and testing, and the delivery of PCs.
The benefits the student interns will receive are:
- Interns will work with currently employed and retired tech professionals and entrepreneurs in an informal setting that is conducive to learning more about the tech industry in general. There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions and gain advice.
- Interns will expand their understanding of the many community organizations that partner with TDI Connect.
- Interns will hone their social media skills which is beneficial for any field they choose to enter in the future.
- Interns will participate in deliveries and experience first hand the joy that comes from giving people the tools they need to improve their lives.
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Housing is available for rent if you have a car or access to transportation in Princeton town or (cheaper) further south toward Trenton and Ewing.
The ideal candidate will have/be:
- Enthusiastic communication, creativity, and curiosity.
- The ability to navigate Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tik Tok, Pinterest and other social media.
- A basic understanding of the social impact of the digital divide and the desire to eliminate it.
- Persuasive writing and speaking talent.
- Ability to improvise and think on one’s feet.
Additional desired qualifications:
- An interest in or aptitude for computers, programming, and hardware is preferred, but not necessary. A willingness to learn, and desire to help others are more important qualities.
Writing Sample Required