In early 2010, we first had the dream of possibly starting an adult learning center. The discussion was tossed around by Mr. Paul Waite and then pastor, Reverend Yolanda Wright. They saw the need for educating the senior citizens of the church in the use of computers. Being able to function in this high-tech world would certainly be beneficial to all. So, the search started.
First, we asked St. Paul AME Church if we could rent the rooms in the basement. Then, we contacted Tony Collier, who was the head of the IT department at CSX. At the time, CSX was going through a system-wide computer change-out, and Tony Collier sent us our very first seven computers. From time to time, he still contacts us to see how things are going. We thank him tremendously.
Secondly, we approached our newly elected mayor, the honorable Michael Cherepko, and state Senator James Brewster for donations. Mr. Cherepko donated two computers, and Mr. Brewster gave us our first monetary donation. We also went to CSX's outreach program to solicit funds for the startup, but they said that we needed to become more established before they could help us. So, with no more funds on the horizon and after being turned down by several agencies, the dream laid dormant.
A Dying Furnace Gave the Learning Center a Second Spark
In 2013, the church was having problems with their furnace, and winter was on our heels. Paul Waite sent out a plea to his family to seek help in getting funds for a new furnace or repairing the one that we had (which would have been a huge expense). Paul's uncle, the Honorable Clyde W. Waite, contacted us the next day and asked what he could do to help. Paul sent Clyde the figures, and they decided to put in a new furnace.
In the subsequent days and many phone calls later, we started discussing the learning center. Clyde wanted a way to leave a legacy in honor of his mother, so he started funding the center for all the necessary equipment that was needed to accomplish this legacy.
First, we upgraded the internet capabilities along with the power in the church basement. After all of the necessary upgrades were complete, new tables and computers were purchased, and the center was ready to open. We decided to name it the Anna Middleton Waite Adult Learning Center.
Shortly afterwards, the center was granted our 501(c)(3), which made us a viable nonprofit organization. With all of the federal EIN tax classifications and state certifications, the center is now a strong stand-alone nonprofit that's looking to serve the community through computer education. Classroom instructions started on January 29, 2015, with instructors Dave Houston and Henry Walker III conducting classes. In the interim, the center has given out two scholarships to students of McKeesport, Pennsylvania.
Our Board Members
|Paul L Waite
|Clyde W. Waite