Carlos Isales has long had an interest in learning how computers work, even taking one apart and putting it back together. When it came time to do his senior project, the Augusta Preparatory Day School student decided to use his skills at rebuilding computers to help an area inner-city group.
"I came up with the idea when I was building a computer for myself at the end of school last year," said Carlos, the 18-year-old son of Carlos and Maritza Isales, of Augusta.
"Building computers is something I can do, and I knew from a previous visit to AUM (Augusta Urban Ministries) that their computers were pretty rundown, so I called and asked if they would be interested in my rebuilding some for them," he said.
Augusta Urban Ministries, in downtown Augusta, accepted Carlos' offer to provide them with some updated computers.
Carlos will donate two machines that run Windows XP. One of the donated computers is the one that he was working on for himself.
"My parents are going to buy me a laptop when I go off to college, so I won't need a desktop," said Carlos, who heads to the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta in the fall to major in computer science.
Carlos said the cost of the project is relatively low; the highest cost will be the installation of two copies of the operating system.
Other items that he needed to rebuild the computers have been financed with money from a job Carlos held last summer.
"I have long had an interest in how computers work," said Carlos, who is the president of the Augusta Prep game club and sound board operator for the school's theatrical performances. "My father sat me down one day and took a computer apart and then showed me how to put it back together. Along the way, I've also taught myself."
Carlos' main goal is to make sure the donated computers work.
"Most people who donate computers donate old computers that aren't reliable," he said. "I just want to make sure these can run modern software and are reliable."
Carlos' physics teacher, James Mason, said his student is reliable.
"Carlos is a good student and never fails to impress me with his depth of knowledge, maturity and perspicacity," Mr. Mason said. "He brings a great attitude and enthusiasm to every activity he partakes in."
Mason said Carlos is an upstanding student and demonstrates a great deal of creativity and ingenuity in lab activities and class projects.
Additionally, Carlos is one of the debate club's strongest members, Mason said. "Policy debate is an activity that encourages teamwork and critical-thinking skills," he said. "Carlos has repeatedly demonstrated a natural aptitude in these areas as well as the capacity for leadership as a debate captain. It has been a pleasure working with him."
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