MSOE students build free desks for those in need: 'Feels great'

With so many families and students working and learning from home, a group of 50 college students came together to make an impact on Milwaukee Public Schools and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee.

Routing, sanding and cutting, Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) students show their brains -- and brawn.

Volunteers are working together with the university's Create Institute to design and build desks for families in need.

"It was great to take what we learned in class and the teachers teach us about the MSOE mindset, being value creators and giving back to the community," said Lily Swanson, an MSOE freshman.

MSOE students build desks for those in need

The desk drive will provide 100 Milwaukee-area K-12 students with a proper and conducive workspace for virtual learning -- for free.

"I really think all of these desks are going to make a huge difference for a lot of students in the community," Anne-Marie Warren, an MSOE senior, said. "Especially having to do all of their homework from home, knowing that other people are looking out for them is a great thing to have."

MSOE students build desks for those in need

The drive is a huge help academically and economically; each desk comes with a refurbished desktop computer from Digital Bridge -- a non-profit organization that connects vulnerable populations and under-funded organizations with digital resources.

"I know a lot of people are stretched thin with money right now. It feels great to give to those who don’t really have the money to buy something that is so essential," Swanson said.

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The first batch of 34 desks has been loaded onto a truck ready to distribute -- enhancing learning experiences and perhaps giving some inspiration.

"I hope that they know that we worked really hard," said Swanson.

The work won't stop there. Students will return for Round 2 after winter break, building 66 more desks that will be delivered to families in February.

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