Tech Consortium Donates $5,000 To Aid Black Township Youth

Township officials, members of the FTPD and representatives from the ITServe organization at the check presentation.

A $5,000 donation made October 21 by a consortium of more than 1,400 IT companies from around the country will be used to help Black students in the township.

The donation was made to the Franklin Township Police Department’s Community Relations Bureau, and was presented in a short ceremony at the bureau’s Hamilton Street headquarters.

The group, ITServe Northeast, is comprised of small IT business from around the country, most all owned by South Asians, said Township Councilman Sivaraman Anbarasan, (D-At Large). The group’s 10 chapters have made regular donations to local organizations, he said.

FTPD Capt. Sean Hebbon, who leads the Community Relations Bureau, said the money would be used to provide tutoring and other services to students “who are dealing with Covid-related issues.”

“A lot of youth in town are home, they have parents who don’t really understand some of the things taught in school … so we’ll provide help to get the youth some additional tutoring and counseling,” Hebbon said.

“We’re also going to have some physical fitness activities to help them move and get their bodies moving so they can stay in shape,” he said.

It was Venky Sadagopan, a member of the township’s Human Relations Commission, who brought the money to the township.

Sadagopan said that he has been involved with ITServe, members of which reached out to him for donation ideas.

He said that after a series of meetings with various township officials, it was decided that the donation could be made to teh CRB to “help the Black youth of Franklin.”

“We plan to spend the money to help Black youth,” Public Safety Director Quovella Spruill said.

The money represented “a great opportunity for the Community Relations Bureau to get some funding to help the youth of Franklin, especially during this time of Covid,” she said.

“Covid stopped a lot of things, but it also brought a lot of opportunities to our community and to our police department,” she said. Spruill said the coronavirus pandemic forced a stop to many programs that the Community Relations Bureau had planned for township youth.

Spruill said the money would also help the bureau “obtain the technology to communicate with the youth.”

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