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12.20.2017

ASI Gives Back to Schools, and Others, in Guatemala

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CEO and founder of Autonomous Solutions, Mel Torrie, has an ambitious goal to give back one billion dollars through various charitable activities striving to help others reach their fullest potential.

ASI Gives Back, the volunteer group responsible for ASI’s charitable initiatives, regularly organizes events in which its employees participate. Autonomous Solutions, Inc. is the corporate sponsor for the Wayne Julien Torrie Foundation, a nonprofit organization that manages fundraising activities in alignment with the ASI Gives Back group.

Recently, ASI Gives Back dreamed bigger and organized an event that gave volunteers the opportunity to make an impact for underprivileged children in Guatemala by providing things like LEGO robotics kits, tablets, musical instruments, efficient gardening systems and more.

A lot of work and contributions went into making these efforts possible. ASI Gives Back, along with the foundation, organized several events for employees and the community to donate to the cause. These fundraising events were highlighted by the first Robot Days 5K Fun Run, hosted at ASI’s 100-acre facility in northern Utah. Runners young and old were able to race a robot on ASI’s vehicle tracks, enjoy a pancake breakfast, play with LEGO robots, win prizes and more.

ASI Gives Back gardening stands

With preparations completed and funds raised, the ASI team traveled to Guatemala. It was made up of volunteer ASI employees and their families. They had an amazing experience and loved helping the people of Guatemala.

The goal was to help local elementary schools raise their educational capabilities through several projects focused on music, gardening, and technology. ASI Gives Back teamed up with theTango Foundation which provides medical services in impoverished areas and is familiar with some of the challenges these schools face. ASI Gives Back also worked with Pueblo a Pueblo, a local non-profit in Guatemala to help plan and organize these efforts.

One project involved building an efficient gardening system to increase the yield of their crops. Well before heading to Guatemala, the group designed and tested several innovative ways to grow crops. They found that a certain vertical growing structure performed the best and made the most sense. These growing systems will provide more food, leading to fewer malnourished children.

Another project done jointly with World Possible, another non-profit, provided access to educational websites for five schools in areas where the internet is not accessible. ASI supplied 50 tablets and five servers and installed a system called RACHEL, “a portable plug-and-play server which stores educational websites and makes that content available over any local (offline) wireless connection.” Then the tablets can be used by students in the classroom, as if they were on the internet, to enhance their education and open new opportunities.



Guatemalan school teachers using robots

The last focus was music. ASI brought keyboards and drum kits for the schools to teach music to their students. In addition, volunteers held music sessions to share the instruments and their rhythmic talents with the children.

Other projects included teaching entrepreneurial and QuickBooks trainings and providing resources for those interested in starting small businesses in the area, such as bee keeping. The group also helped tile the floor of one of the libraries and supplied bee keeping equipment and materials to build bee hives. They also teamed up with Days for Girls and gave more than 80 women and girls the tools they needed to improve their quality of life.

ASI volunteers made some great friends and lasting memories from this experience. One of the Guatemalan school teachers has a Youtube channel. Interested viewers can subscribe to his channel to see the impact these volunteers had on his school and students. ASI Gives Back would like to thank all of the individuals, companies and organizations that helped make this possible.

Follow ASI on Facebook to learn more about future ASI Gives Back activities.