SPRING VALLEY, NY—Schools and students in Hudson Valley rely on technology now more than ever, but technology is not always reliable or widely available. This summer, Jerry Registre, a Google intern from Spring Valley, is undertaking a critical project to help schools keep technology in the hands of their students.
As a summer intern for Google, Registre, a rising senior at Harvard College majoring in biology and computer science, is looking for ways to make it easier for schools to repair Chromebooks – a necessity for today’s learning experience, whether in the classroom or virtual. He is also encouraging students to engage with hands-on STEM and hardware learning opportunities.
“I have a sense that students on the whole are more technical now, in the realms of having more opinions about technology, knowing how different systems work, and getting better at fixing problems,” Registre told Patch. “And I think that Google, as a tech company and advocate for information sharing, should continue to look for ways to support students in deepening their understanding of technology. I’m looking to help students better understand the hardware they interact with so they can actually take devices apart, put them back together, and learn how to fix different issues that come up.”
Chromebooks are used by students across Rockland County and Westchester, and being short even one device could mean a student falls behind. As part of the internship, Registre said he is working with Google partners to learn how they’re supporting repairs, and looking at the hardware design decisions Chromebook teams are making to figure out how Google can improve the repair process.
More than 3,200 interns onboarded virtually in May/June – Registre was among them. His internship runs for 12 weeks and ends in early September. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the tech giant’s summer internship has been completely virtual but for the Spring Valley native, rewarding nonetheless.
“Without a doubt, my highlight this summer has been my team. I remember joining our first video call to find everyone in swim and snorkel gear because they found out I was a swimmer,” Registre said. “Then they surprised me again on my birthday with an apple pie, timely drop-shipped with an awesome note for my 21st. My manager, Blair, has been an out-of-this-world host from day 1, and I couldn’t have asked for a better team to work with for the summer.”
According to a spokesperson for the company, interns were provided with laptops and any other necessary technical equipment needed to support them, help them be productive at work, and set them up for success over the summer. Every intern also received a welcome swag box with a noogler hat, coveted intern backpack, shirt, sticker sheet and welcome note.
“For me, the internship has felt somewhat like a sandbox. I’ve had a lot of control in shaping what my project is and what my day-to-day looks like. Generally, as long as I’m sharing my goals and progress with my host, I can work whenever I feel most productive,” Registre explained. “I think that flexibility has been boosted by interning from home. I’ve met a lot of interesting people, learned about cool projects Google is working on through intern talks, gotten a lot of practice presenting to different teams, and torn up devices to learn about hardware design.”
Google has hosted its intern program every year since 1999. According to the company, the goal of its internship program is to fuel an intern’s passion for technology and teach them new skills by working on various projects important to the company.
This summer, interns are working on a number of open source projects as well as more Google specific projects that are focused on everything from working with small and medium-sized business with their online marketing efforts to contributing to Cloud AI or Ads products. For Registre, an internship with Google was the perfect fit and is allowing him to further enhance his technology knowledge.
“Technology has been around my life for quite a while. My brother and I were the ones who picked out our first family computer, and we became the de facto ‘tech experts’ for the family, responsible for fixing any issues that came up because we knew we were only getting the one computer,” he said. “Later on in college I launched Peerlift, an edTech startup, with an amazing set of co-founders to share scholarships with students in low-resourced schools. I learned to code originally to help build for Peerlift and discovered my interest in computer science in the process.”
To learn more about Google’s internship program, click here.
This article originally appeared on the Nanuet Patch