About: Our Story

Relief Through Leadership(RTL) seeks to create a sustainable pipeline of technology and focused professional development for schools and communities in need around the globe. We leverage leaders dedicated to expanding the capacity of education through professional development to make a difference in the lives of children. In collaboration with like-minded leaders and organizations, we provide refurbished retired Chromebooks and similar computing devices to schools with technology needs. With the goal to create lasting collegial support networks that ultimately improve student learning through the integration of technology and the teaching of sound research-based strategies.

After hurricanes Irma & Maria (2017), the island of Puerto Rico needed assistance. Through the efforts of caring educators, a group of leaders was assembled to provide help. Initially, the focus of Relief Through Leadership (RTL) was on changing and repairing the buildings. RTL focuses on changing the futures of children through improving teachers’ abilities to use technology. In partnership with area schools and the Lake County Technology Campus, obsolete Chromebooks are donated, evaluated and repaired, and prepared for shipment. RTL is able to coordinate the shipping, storage, and distribution of these materials to public schools in Puerto Rico. Additionally, educators from the Chicagoland area have traveled to Puerto Rico to train teachers on how to integrate Chromebooks into the classrooms. The teachers focus on open source, free, internet-based tools to change instruction from teacher to student-focused. Relationships between teachers are formed, ideas are exchanged, and teachers are prepared to change the future. Through leadership and service, we are impacting the island.

The programmatic structure of traveling skilled educators to pass along their knowledge and skillsets to other educators has a bidirectional effect which was unanticipated by the RTL organizers. In many cases, the educators traveling to these destinations for service-oriented experiences get the most out of the experience vs. the communities of educators that need the assistance. Nevertheless, the communities on the receiving end are beyond grateful and the students involved in the process are forever changed.

Plans are in the works to return in 2022 to deliver more professional development and more technology resources to the island. Stay tuned for more updates.