NEW YORK — With a line of kids in front of a P.C. Richard & Son in Harlem, and huge smiles stretched across their faces, you would think the kids were meeting a celebrity.

Greeting them at the front was Tanesha Grant.

She’s no celebrity, but she’s hoping to make a difference in the lives of the children.

What You Need To Know

  • At the start of the pandemic, many black and brown children instantly fell behind due to a lack of technology in their homes

  • Tanesha Grant has donated over 200 laptops to kids without in order to help them with their school work

  • Grant’s efforts have been assisted by companys donating laptops and community members donating over $79,000

“You’re getting your very own 8 GB, touchscreen HP laptop,” Grant kept repeating to every excited kid as she handed them the new hardware.

She wasn’t just giving the young students a free laptop, but the chance to get on an even playing field with some of their other peers. Grant, a mother herself, has always been involved in the fight against inequality in the classroom. She says for too long children of color have been left behind.

“We’re just doing our part to encourage our children, to empower our children, to give our children at least one opportunity,” Grant said, “to be anything they want to be in their lives.”

Grant founded two organizations at the height of the pandemic: Parents Supporting Parents New York and Moms United for Black Lives New York City. Working together, they raised over $79,000 through their fundraiser, Harlem Laptop Initiative.

“Every child that we give a laptop, we get reports from,” Grant said, “they’re excelling in their school work, the remote learning. They’re happy, they’re just encouraged.”s

Other companies have partnered with Grant’s efforts, including the P.C. Richard & Son in Harlem, which donated 25 laptops, and HP, which donated 50. More than 200 laptops have been placed into excited children’s hands.

“We are serving our whole community as fast as we can and we are trying to serve as many kids as we can,” Grant said, “telling them that they deserve everything.”

For helping to bridge the technology gap and inspire higher learning, Tanesha Grant is our New Yorker of the Week.