JPMorgan’s technology team came together to volunteer their time and expertise at Bushwick Leaders High School in Brooklyn, NY. Ross Baldari, an Engineer Lead at JPMorgan Chase, lead the team in building a library and research center over 18 months, overseeing it from concept to execution. Ross and his team transformed a space with dilapidated walls and floors that were deemed unfit for students into a full fledged functioning library and media center.
The project, which began in October 2009, is now a vibrant learning center benefiting approximately 300 students. The library, which includes a scanner pad to check in/out books, a smart gate, computer workstations and bookshelves replete with literature donated from a local nonprofit organization has an adjoining interactive multimedia room features a SMART board, a DVD player and a plasma TV built with theater seating for added cinematic experience for students.
Not only did Ross see an opportunity to give back to the community using his expertise, he connected with the student body to inspire them to learn how interesting and fun technology can be. He has kept these students interested in technology and encouraged them to ask questions, pushing the student body to get involved by picking out the colors for the library, weighing in on the architectural design and helping with the finishing touches of the room.
Ross has used innovative solutions to fill an education need while building a strong rapport with the students and staff of Bushwick Leaders H.S. With information more accessible to students, Ross’ hope is that students will be able to broaden their minds and continuously engage in lively, informed discussions.