LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The saying goes, “if there’s a will, there is a way.”
In the spring, Nini Mohamed and his family had their will put to the test.
“It was just like, just the whole house went mad,” Mohamed said. “It was crazy.”
In March, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Jefferson County Public Schools closed schools and transitioned to non-traditional instruction or NTI. For the rest of the school year, Mohamed, 27, helped his 10 siblings complete their lessons.
He has five brothers and five sisters spread out among five different JCPS schools.
At one point, all of them were sharing one Google Chromebook.
“It’s a challenge where now you feel like everything is crashing down,” Mohamed said.
The burden of overseeing his family’s education came down squarely on Mohamed’s shoulders.
His family has roots in Somalia and Kenya. English is their second language. Mohamed is the oldest brother and the only one in the family who is college-educated.
“It put me in a lot of pressure because now I have to try to organize them here,” Mohamed said. “I have to make sure they are doing their work, and I have to make sure they are not confused.”
To display his family’s struggle, he took to YouTube and posted a nearly four-minute video, showing his siblings looking around the house for their lone Chromebook.
“I got other students who watch my YouTube channel and stuff like that, just to show them that even my family is going through what you guys are going through,” Mohamed said. “So don’t worry about it, just keep on pushing.”
In four weeks, JCPS will return to NTI.
In the weeks after Mohamed posted the video, his family received another Chromebook. He also purchased a small laptop for them.
With that said, Mohamed is hoping to receive more technological help from JCPS when the 2020-2021 school year begins, in order to help his siblings get the education they need.
“That is my goal,” Mohamed said. “My goal is for them to succeed because I know what it’s like education-wise as a kid. So, if I have to do whatever it takes for them to succeed in their education, I will do it.”
Over the summer, JCPS used $15 million from the CARES Act to purchase 30,000 more Chromebooks, in anticipation for another round of NTI. A district spokeswoman told WAVE 3 News the goal was to eliminate the digital divide in the district. She also said more information on Chromebook distribution will be available next week.