Cris Lugo understands the education gap caused by a lack of technology. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in the Turks & Caicos Islands, there were no computers in his home.

Now he hopes to combine his experience as the first international student ever to be chosen president of the Student Government Association (SGA) ― and to sit on the Board of Trustees ― with his computer science major to solve a worldwide problem.

According to a 2020 report issued by UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union, two-thirds of the world’s school-age children have no internet connection at home. This digital divide, the report says, isolates children and makes them unable to compete in today’s modern economy.

“I loved computers and cell phones. My family, sadly, didn’t have the resources,” he says. “I had to go to a computer shop to work on my studies and assignments.”

When Lugo, 22, returned recently to the Dominican Republic, the absence of technology brought back memories of his own childhood. It also became the driving force behind his mission to help low-income and underserved communities gain access to computers and other technology.

Lugo, the first SGA president from the College of Engineering & Computing, obtained his AA degree in computer science at Turks & Caicos Islands Community College (TCI), where he was honored with the Outstanding Performance award. He was also the school’s SGA president.

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