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Bettis’ Goal: ‘To Help One Kid’

Students in Cyber Bus Program Meet Their Star and Benefactor at DU

Former Pittsburgh Steeler star and sportscaster Jerome Bettis and family members also representing The Jerome Bettis Bus Stops Here Foundation visited Duquesne University on Dec. 15 at the final session of a program designed to put computer literacy and computers in the hands of some Hill District middle school students.

In an eight-week Saturday program, about 20 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders from the Weil Accelerated Learning Academy learned to use software, assembled their own computers and wrote their personal digital stories under the guidance of Duquesne staff, teachers and tutors. Each of these students will receive, for free, the computer that they helped to build.

These sessions culminated with a visit by Bettis; mother Gladys and aunt Gloria, who lead the foundation; and brother John, as well as Bettis’ niece and nephew. Students shared with these visitors and their proud relatives the sometimes humorous, sometimes touching life stories they had written and presented through Power Point shows. Bettis awarded completion certificates and autographed T-shirts to the students, who previously received wireless headsets and digital recorders from Duquesne.

Bettis, who said the goal of the program is “to help one kid,” spoke of the importance of parents as role models and the value of bringing students to campus so they will be familiar with a university setting. He also addressed the crucial issue of closing the digital divide. By having students assemble the computers as well as use them, they learned two new skills sets, Bettis noted.

The next session of the Cyber Bus Computer Literacy Program will get under way at Duquesne in January.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.