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Photo: Charlie Perry/QNS
Photo: Charlie Perry/QNS
Richmond Hill High School students listen to an introduction from Principal Neil Ganesh at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil the school's new state-of-the-art computer and media lab.

Richmond Hill High School students finally have a state-of-the-art computer lab.

About 60 staff members, students, business leaders, community members and elected officials gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday to unveil the school’s new, state-of-the-art computer room. Forty-six computers were donated by the Jamaica-based realty group Zara Realty; the new computers aim to help students obtain a 21st-century education in computer programming.

“Richmond Hill High School cannot survive without the Richmond Hill community, and the Richmond Hill community cannot survive without Richmond Hill High School,” Principal Neil Ganesh said as he addressed the crowd.

This school is one of 12 schools to receive aid from the Zara Realty group, five of which are located in NYC. The 46 computers were purchased through a $125,0000 donation from the realty company.

Zara Realty information technology specialist Naresh Singh applauded the school’s dedication to making the project a reality. Richmond Hill High School and Zara Realty staff members worked many nights and weekends over the last year to complete the construction of the computer lab.

Singh also shared a story with the crowd about a recent visit to an Apple Store in Manhattan where he met a young man about to embark on his junior year at Union College. He asked the man what degree he was pursuing? He said that he was pursuing computer programming. Singh than asked if the young man had an opportunity in high school to study his craft. The Apple Store employee said he wanted to but there was no access to the technology he needed.

“That young man was a 2014 graduate of Richmond Hill High School,” Singh said to the crowd.

Richmond Hill senior Muhammad Ahmed remembers trying to study computer programming through an “A+ Book.” The school would issue the books to students and they would take them home and attempt to teach themselves the curriculum.

“I was on YouTube all the time trying to learn,” Ahmed said.

After an in-class computer programming presentation during his sophomore year, Ahmed and other students decided it was time to bring a computer lab to Richmond Hill. They worked with the school’s staff and faculty to find a donor. In 2015 Zara Realty answered their call.

Ahmed is now working with technology all the time. He designed the light show for his school’s theater program and is beginning work on his own app geared toward helping young people through education. He wants students to have the ability to take photos of math problems that they need help with. The app will than read the problems and present students with step-by-step problem-solving solutions.

“I feel so proud. It’s not just me that’s going to get the benefits,” Ahmed said. “Students that come after me now have a chance to become smarter with technology.”

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Debby July 16, 2016 / 01:25AM
I taught at Richmond Hill HS from 1977 until I retired in 2004. Computer labs were established in the mid 1980's. The Hill is over a hundred years old and has a very rich history. There are a lot of Hill retirees around, and we remember the "firsts"
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