Founder switched on great idea

FOR Holsworthy resident Lakshmi Logathassan all it took was one bright idea to help provide students around the world with an education.

The 18-year-old university student is the founder of The Laptop Project, an educational program that collects government-funded laptops from school-leavers and donates them to high schools in Kenya and Sri Lanka.

After completing year 12 in 2012, Miss Logathassan suggested the notion of donating the government-funded laptops to students who are less fortunate.

The program started as a school-based project and has now been adopted by several across NSW.

So far 250 laptops have been donated and are in the process of having their software updated.

The first of the laptops are scheduled to be delivered to students within a few months.

Miss Logathassan is a finalist in the 2014 NSW Young Woman of the Year Awards for her work and commitment to the project.

She said she felt passionate about helping students who were less fortunate gain access to an education and a better life.

"It was really important to address that not everyone is lucky enough to have the education that we do in Australia," she said.

"Not many people have the good fortune of growing up in a country of freedom and equal opportunity.

"I am one of the lucky few, so why not make the most out of my chance to help those less fortunate?"

Miss Logathassan has also spent three weeks teaching English at a rural school in Sri Lanka.

Alongside studying law and international studies at university, she is also working on developing an English teaching program for schools in Kenya and Sri Lanka.

She said her parent's stories of migration inspired her to make a difference.

"The schools are government funded but don't have enough funds for an English teacher," she said.

"Many children out there don't have the opportunity to reach their potential.

"My parents came from a war-torn background. They fled Sri Lanka 25 years ago and through their stories I was able to learn about the struggles they faced in their country."

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