By the time she was in Fifth Grade, Kellie Scott had already overcome more adversity than most people do in an entire lifetime. In pre-school, chronic ear infections resulted in temporary hearing loss during one of the most critical phases of childhood development. Through art and writing, Kellie learned alternative forms to communicate until she had surgery to repair the damage. To help her classmates understand what was happening to her, Kellie made a book describing her surgery and shared it with the class. According to her mom, Michele, Kellie did this because, “she thought some of them would be braver if they knew what happened to her.”
Unfortunately, Kellie’s challenges were only just beginning.
During her elementary school years, her father’s opioid addiction nearly destroyed her entire family. After her parents divorced, her mother sustained multiple concussions while teaching at a school for behavioral and mentally challenged children. During her mother’s recovery, Kellie had to call her “Michele” instead of “Mom” to get her attention while helping her mother with every task imaginable. Whenever she would visit her father, she once again played caregiver and was unwittingly used to transport drugs. Kellie was designated “Master of Her Own Destiny” during this period and a “no contact” order was determined by the court.
These were especially painful days for Kellie and her family who found themselves without stable housing and shunned by their community. Due to Kellie’s lingering communications challenges, anxiety, and loss of time at school during time spent with her father, she was classified as special needs. Despite these obstacles, Kellie became a voice for victims of the Opioid Epidemic. She bravely participated in community forums, school organizations, and even visited the Maine State House on two different occasions to speak with lawmakers about the importance of recovery programs and their impact on both addicts and the people who love them.
It was at this point that we met Kellie and provided her with her first computer, which she immediately put to work on improving her situation. She applied to Kents Hill School, earning a full scholarship. Kellie used her computer to sharpen her communication skills and become an exceptional writer. Determined and diligent Kellie made strides academically and took advantage of every opportunity to participate in athletics and community service. Over the next few years, Kellie transformed every moment of disappointment into opportunity. She became an honors student, champion athlete and student leader.
In 2018, Kellie had barely had a chance to celebrate her softball team’s state championship title when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Kellie spent that entire summer washing dishes and taking care of her mother and brother. In the process of moving into a more affordable place, Kellie’s computer was damaged and she was once again faced with an urgent need for a computer at a very challenging time.
At give IT. get IT., there’s no limit to our passion for helping our clients succeed but we always hope that the first computer we ship each client is the last one they need from us. When Michele reached out to us again and explained what Kellie had been through and how much she’d accomplished since we shipped her first computer, there was no way we could turn her down. “Of course, give IT. get IT. came through,” Michele says. “Dreams. Hope. Trust. That is what give IT. get IT. is all about.”
The timing of this new, more powerful computer couldn’t have been better for Kellie. When COVID-19 forced all Kents Hill students to attend classes remotely, Kellie didn’t miss a beat. In fact, she added a college course to her workload, became a virtual school ambassador, and took on a newly devised role as Head Proctor. If all this weren’t enough, Kellie also took on an independent study to develop the very first student-blog: The Kents Hill Insider, which you can read by CLICKING HERE. Kellie did all of these things with her give IT. get IT. computer including her most important tasks of her senior year—searching for colleges, preparing applications, and communicating with coaches, professors and staff at different universities.
On November 1, 2020 Kellie submitted her first early decision applications to colleges, using her give IT. get IT. computer. She didn’t have to wait long for a response. On November 4, Kellie received her first of many acceptance offers. Best of all, thanks to Kellie’s exceptional academic record and extensive extracurricular activity schedule, she has received a significant scholarship that will help to make her dreams possible. While Kellie has yet to decide which school she will be attending, she is planning to major in Communications and Media Studies with a minor in Gender and Inclusion Studies. She has already had discussions with professors about internship opportunities.
As Michele explains, “The computer Kellie received from, give IT. get IT., allowed her to dream, inspired hope, and created an experience of trust, which built confidence in a voiceless girl to grow into someone who speaks with compassion for the needs and rights of others. With, give IT. get IT, connecting her to the future, I believe she will always be, ‘Master of Her Own Destiny’.”
All of us at, give IT. get IT. are profoundly proud of Kellie and everything she’s done to support her family while putting herself in a position to succeed. If we could name a poster child to represent why we’re so passionate about digital inclusion, it would be Kellie Scott. We’re thrilled to see her pursuing her dreams and can’t wait to see what she accomplishes next!
If you’d like to help more people like Kellie receive the computers they need to succeed at low or no cost, please consider making a donation to our program in the form of a sponsorship.
If you’d like to learn more about our certified e-waste recycling services and how we convert retired corporate tech into tools and opportunities for people in need, please call Chris Martin at 207-322-6257 or email him at [email protected].