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Help Somebody Spotlight: Jocelyn Marencik, Founder, Got Tec! Richmond

We are honored to have received (and are still receiving!) so many incredible nominations for the Help Somebody Hall of Fame.  This week we are highlighting the work of a Sophomore Student from Deep Run High School – Jocelyn Marencik.  Jocelyn founded the initiative “Got Tec! Richmond” whose mission is to deliver needed technology equipment to underserved schools, teachers, and students in the Richmond area.  She was nominated by her proud father, Don.

Jocelyn dedicates countless hours to community service and is truly a role model for young people in our community.  She said, “I’ve made community service a part of my life since Kindergarten. In 7th grade I ran my own fundraiser at Moody Middle to raise over $1,500 for both the school PTA and “From the Heart Stitchers”, which gives their hats, blankets, etc. to the homeless, people going through chemo, and babies in need. I’ve also helped make hundreds of hats for them. This year I decided to blend my love of technology with community service and came up with “Got Tec Richmond”, which stands for Gifts of Technology (for) Teachers, Education & Children.”

Read more about Jocelyn’s story and her impact in the community:

How does Jocelyn demonstrate the spirit of the “Help Somebody Hall of Fame”? 

Jocelyn founded and manages a local community initiative named “Got Tec Richmond” which funds and delivers technology equipment to under-served schools in the Richmond area (mainly RPS). She generates funds for the initiative by crocheting and selling hats, scarves, and blankets and selling them, by selling elastic band bracelets she makes, through community aluminum recycling drives, through micro-grants, and commercial and individual donations.

With the donated equipment she then organizes, teaches, and mentors at “Learn to Code” days at the same schools with the help of the ITRT’s (Instructional Technology Resource Teacher) at the particular school. This helps the students learn 21st century computer and other technological skills to help them succeed throughout school and beyond. Having modern technology equipment also helps the teachers at the school with additional tools and creative methods to further enhance learning. Overall this gives those in inner city schools the same learning opportunities as those in the better financed suburbs providing an avenue for future success. Jocelyn spends 5-10 hours each week on her initiative fundraising, marketing, delivering equipment to schools, organizing learning events, and mentoring/teaching others about computer coding.


What is the impact of her generosity? 

Jocelyn has been able to fund technology equipment for teachers and students in 23 separate RPS schools and 47 total classrooms. This includes two entire technology libraries consisting of Chromebooks and tablets. The indirect impact is well over 1300 students. The estimated value of the donated equipment is over $12,000 after only one year of existence of the initiative.

She has also organized and mentored at 6 learn to code events so far impacting 200 students directly who attended. Again, this has provided students an opportunity to learn needed 21st century skills they otherwise wouldn’t have. Also in a partnership with the Virtual Learning Center at MIT and the Scratch Foundation, she will shortly be donating two sets of Scratch language learning cars to each and every Richmond elementary and middle school for the ITRT’s and teachers to use as guides for setting up technology lessons plans and activities.


Is there anything else you want to share about Jocelyn?

Jocelyn is a sophomore in the Center for Information Technology at Deep Run High School in Glen Allen, VA. She has won a National Center for Women & Information Technology Virginia affiliate award and is a She ++ Include Fellow.

She is an officer of the CIT and DRHS Key Club and is a member of the Computer Science National Honor Society. Jocelyn founded the initiative as it meshes her two loves of computer technology and community service. She also crochets hats and blankets for donation to cancer patients through “From the Heart Stitchers”, has donated over 5200 food and other items to the Henrico Christmas Mother drive over her school years and has organized drives of cat food, litter and toys for CARE (Cat Adoption & Rescue Efforts).


About the Help Somebody Hall of Fame:

The Help Somebody Hall of Fame is a platform to express gratitude for a person in the community who acts selflessly to improve the lives of others.  We want to share these stories in hope of inspiring more people in Greater Richmond to act with generosity.  There will be random drawing from those who are honored, and two honorees will select a nonprofit of their choice to receive $1000.  Read more about how to nominate someone here.

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