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Students "Help4Free"

1/26/99 (Mountain View, CA) --
Original Article from Saint Francis Campus Review:

s.gif (402 bytes)eniors Neilesh Patel and Dan Brown have founded a consulting service staffed by student volunteers who are offering computer services free of charge to organizations
in need.


The group, called "Students Help 4 Free," was formed to provide free and reliable assistance covering a wide range of hardware and software issues. (The group's web site,
which spells out its mission and services, can be located at (www.studentshelp.org) One of their recent projects involved providing consulting services for UTURN, a branch of "Free At Last" in East Palo Alto, a community recovery and rehabilitation center. UTURN serves teenagers and young adults age 16-25, providing tutoring, GED services, group therapy, individual counseling and court advocacy. Lenita Ellis, Director of Youth Services, was interested in setting up a computer at the agency for administrative use to add to the existing seven computers that have been donated to them and are used by clients. A Stanford graduate, Ms. Ellis was "surfing" her alma mater's news group when she learned of Students Help 4 Free. "I contacted them and they were very helpful and responsive," she explains. "I gave them our budget information and some specifications, and within about three weeks they had researched the equipment, purchased it at the best price, and assembled the system for us."

Another interesting project taken on by the students involved the Cannes Film Festival in France. Through a San Jose artist's studio, the group helped a French artist broadcast the first live movie to be shown at Cannes over the Internet. The students coordinated the necessary equipment at the studio and created the web site through which the film could be seen around the world. In addition to the two founders, several Saint Francis seniors are currently volunteering their services, including Eric Wai, Andrew Tran, Agnes Mazur and Ravi Raghavan. Their web site is generating a great deal of interest, with an average of over 100 e-mails coming in daily. The group was recently interviewed by KRON-TV, Channel 4, for a feature that is scheduled to air in the next few months.
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