Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Reorganizing and refocusing

It's been quite some time since our last post but while the work of the  Jesse Higginbotham Technology Trust and Mindtriggerz has continued, I've simply failed at keeping things up to date online. Look for changes to our website in the coming weeks at and soon a new blog that will incorporate news and updates concerning all the work we do in Jesse's name and honor.

For the moment, a few briefs:
  • To date, 77 families have been served in Lexington - completing required training and receiving a free Mindtriggerz computer
  • Directors of the Jesse Higginbotham Technology Trust have increased as has our desire to operate in a more formalized manner
  • Dunbar High School in Lexington recently created a new Media Lab in Jesse's name and honor and while the Trust was not involved in this project, we are glad to see members of his school community recognize his contributions with this dedication. 
  • Plans are underway for our District Council Member to have the Cardinal Valley Park Shelter renamed  for Jesse - the Mindtriggerz Training Lab is now the most frequent user of this facility.
Please continue to visit the website and keep apprised of what's new. We have a current need for a few supplies and will be again asking our community to donate in any way they are able. At present we are seeking working computer speakers (external units with volume control knobs and power adaptors), surge protectors, and of course, the always-appreciated monetary donation.

The Mindtriggerz Training Lab is open each Saturday until mid-May - work will begin again at the Dunbar Memorial Garden in the Spring. Contact us if you have any questions or would like to work with us in any capacity.

Jesse's Mom

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mindtriggerz Project at the Student Technology Leadership Program State Championship!

Jesse participated in many, many different STLP events and while his dad and I never attended (mostly because they were held during the school/work day) we knew the State Championship was always the big event of the year.

In May of 2007 I was invited to attend as Jesse was honored during the opening ceremonies and because his presentation partner for the rElements program was going solo with their project. Thinking back now I am not sure how I managed to find my way there on my own, sit in an audience of strangers and listen as the State Director, Elaine Harrison, recognized Jesse's contributions. All I really recall about that day was this small sea of yellow tshirts with my sons beautiful face on them - Dunbar's STLP had designed (thank you, Katie!) shirts to wear that managed to include Jesse in their big day. Certainly, where he belonged.

This years' State Championship was held on May 21st and the Mindtriggerz Project set up a booth in Rupp Arena. The day started perfectly with Jesse's dad and I yelling at each other as we unpacked at the loading dock at 9:30am. We yell at each other a lot but it's okay because it prevents us from taking out our pent up frustration and anger on others. Once we made it into the arena and found our "booth" we were back to good. Jon helped us set up shop and James came by to give me a much needed hug.

We set up one of the Mindtriggerz computers to demonstrate on along with our presentation board, plenty of brochures to hand out and a variety of homemade penguin candies and cookies (thanks to Sarah who made them beautiful with her decorating "skillz"). Our first of many WAVES of participant students rolled in just about the time we decided we needed another table for all our gear. Thanks to the incredible STLP State Staff (thank you, Kay!) we obtained a second table to help us spread out and to set up an additional Mindtriggerz computer.

Sarah managed to find us among the huge crowd using her last two minutes on her cell phone plan calling me (I felt so honored!) and after listening to me talk to a group of students she took over as emcee extraordinaire advising the listeners that they only GOT A COOKIE after listening to her spiel and taking a turn at Tux Type or Tux Math. While Jon took over from James trying to get Jerome's laptop hooked up to the interwabz, we all took turns talking, explaining and demonstrating what we do and why we do it.

Two young men from Liberty Elementary School approached Jesse's dad and asked if they could interview him. They were among the many "cyber reporters" milling around and we were EXTREMELY impressed by their abilities. There were some emotional moments but these boys just blew us away and I hope one day we will get to see their video and report. Throughout the day several reporters came to interview and while they were all awesome - well, the two from Liberty were just incredible.

While the young people came, saw, tested, asked questions and moved on, it was a day filled with much laughter and comraderie, a day Jesse would have surely loved. Our darling Ellidia arrived about 12:30 and proceeded to wile the passerby's with her charm, beauty and "shoulder touch" and scored us several potential donations. She handed out a boat load of brochures and filled the booth with her laughter. We are really going to miss her as she ventures off to Vanderbilt on her scholarship - but we hope she'll come back to see us every once in awhile.

The day drew to a perfect ending with the showing of Beth who decided to stop by and say Hi. Beth's dad has been an awesome contributor to Mindtriggerz and Beth - having just recently joined us at the garden - is going to be an awesome connection, helper, assistant, friend. We are hoping to entice her wonderful beau as well!

As we packed up to leave we bumped into Elaine Harrison and shared a round of hugs and mutual admiration. She said "Jesse's spirit is all around us here" and I hope she's right. I hope he saw us, I hope he approved.

Jesse's Mom

Sunday, May 10, 2009

To the garden we go

Today was "Hannah Day" at the Dunbar Memorial Garden so the Mindtriggerz Teaching Lab was closed for business. We'll reopen as needed on a pre-arranged basis - a sign is posted at the Cardinal Valley Park shelter for anyone who needs/wants to apply for a computer and/or needs to finish up training.

While we will continue to pick up donated technology and continue to operate the Mindtriggerz Project, it's time to move outside, soak up rays, tend to our native plants and be together in a big way. Please join us. Visit to learn more and do good stuff with us.

Jesse's Mom

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Scheduling conflicts

Due to a scheduling conflict, the Mindtriggerz teaching lab was not open for business today :(
Apparently another entity had rented the shelter location for the day and somehow that info didn't make it to us - which isn't to say that we weren't told about it at some earlier point that just wasn't remembered in time.
ANYWAYS, Jerome did get our 15th computer delivered - even a little early today and spent the rest of the morning and afternoon moving around palettes in his house and rearranging all the computers that have been donated. This is a good thing. He plans on opening the lab next Saturday and if he has no "continuing" families, will likely shut down for the season after that and join us at the Dunbar Memorial Garden.
A note will be posted so that Mindtriggerz families can "schedule" signing up or continued training by calling him. As usual, we will continue picking up donated computers and components every Friday from 1 to 2pm. Visit our website at to learn of ways you can help us with this and the other projects of the Jesse Higginbotham Technology Trust.
Jesse's Mom

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Facebooking at the Mindtriggerz Lab

After a full day at the Dunbar Memorial Garden I stopped in to see what was shaking at the Mindtriggerz Teaching Lab. There was Joyce, on a computer engaged in some kind of word puzzle and there was Jerome dashing around as he is well-known for doing.

An event by a local church was being held so most every young person in the lab was spill-over, much like the easter egg hunt weekend last time. While we would prefer the lab to be filled with applicants for the Mindtriggerz computers, we also knew that with the approach of warm weather the park would begin to be dominated by a variety of events and this simply affords us the chance to spread the word about what we are doing and why.

Joyce shared a hilarious story about how she was "manning" the lab while Jerome was out doing who knows what and a couple of teenagers ambled in and when she asked them what they were doing on the computers they said "We want to check our Facebook messages" and she responded with: "Oh no, these computers don't do that - there is no internet here" which of course sent them shuffling off.

Funny stuff - I'd previously told Jerome he should charge admission - lo and behold we found 16 cents that someone had left by a computer so I guess he did! The lab will most likely shut down a little earlier than the end of May as we'd planned and that's okay. As school begins to wind down for these youngsters, as the park begins to fill with other activities, I know Jerome and Joyce would prefer to be at the garden. It reminds me of a certain day in May when I said "Jesse, it's so beautiful outside you should get out in the sunshine and fresh air" then spied him a little later with his laptop - sitting on the deck, pounding away at the keyboard.

Monday, April 20, 2009

And the craziness goes to...

MT Blog- Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Saturday the eighteenth brought the weekend of the anniversary of Jesse's death, the sharing of Mindtriggerz love (another family delivered to!) and more mulch to the garden. James Richardson reporting on the day.

Jerome and I arrived at the lab at about 09:15 or so, to find Andy waiting, the building open. We went inside and immediately began setting up. As Jerome finished bringing out the computers, Joyce arrived, marking the second time she has arrived before 10:00 to the lab- a congratulations to her. The lab went up fairly quickly- we're getting better at throwing the place up- and we had our first customers sometime before ten, I believe. I retreated into the back room, using our extra monitor to dual screen my laptop and work on some stuff while Joyce and Jerome began their work at teaching. Sometime after ten, Papa Weck arrived, sent by Mrs. Weck. He and I had an interesting discussion about laptops and traveling the world. I got a phone call at around 10:30 or so from the amazing Sarah Weck, asking if Becky was going to be at the garden anytime soon. I quickly informed her that Becky was having a massage that morning and would be done around eleven. Sarah and Jamie then proceeded to drive from the garden to the lab, where Sarah, Joyce, Jerome, and Mr. Weck had some interesting conversations. Joyce taught another boy while Sarah played the car game and Jamie had to disappear off to work.

Around noon, Sarah and I headed out to the Garden, leaving the lab in the quite capable hands of Joyce and Jerome. Joyce reports that it was pretty darn quiet that day, and the two handled shutdown about one thirty. Things went down slowly, a station at a time. Everybody took it easy that day after the insanity of the week before with the church crowd and just the general insanity, not to mention it being the eighteenth.

After shutting down the lab, Jerome and Joyce delivered yet another Mindtriggerz computer to yet another happy family with the help of a very respectful young man. In Joyce's words: When they came in, the kids were watching TV, and as the computer went up, attention was shifted to said computer. The day went smoothly enough and brought us one step closer to summer and the end of school.


Signing off,


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Joyce's post for the Mindtriggerz Teaching lab - April 11, 2009 edition!

What an exciting day at Mindtriggerz! James and Jerome set up the lab bright and early as usual, and then James headed back to Bekki's to work his tech magic. I broke my on time streak and got there around 11, and the place was swarming with kids because a local church was having a neighborhood Easter celebration.. We continued training our returning families, and let some of the kids who wandered in play a few games. We gave out some flyers and Jerome did a little networking, so hopefully we will have more volunteers in the last couple weeks until garden work starts up again.

There were some children's books laying around from the church group, and two little girls asked me to read a few. I taught one of the girls to read the word "mine", and I sincerely apologize to her mother who no doubt heard "m-i-n-e, MINE!" all the way home. My bad.

Around two James and Bekki came to help us break down the lab. Jerome and Bekki delivered computers to 3 families, including the CUTEST kid in the world Adwin. I'm so glad his family received their computer, but soooo sad that I won't be seeing that happy little face every Saturday :( We can't wait to have him back for more training.

Around noon there was a softball field dedication for Hannah that Bekki, James, April, other friends, and many members of Hannah's family attended. I'm told it was a lovely ceremony, and that there is a plaque along side her jersey number displayed near the scoreboard. Thinking of you today, Hannah. Thinking of you always.

Jesse's mom adds her two cents worth:
Today Joyce said something to me about Jerome and how one minute he's just talking along jovially and the next he's shouting "NO NO NO" at some little one banging on the keyboard and it made me laugh. So thanks Joyce for making me lulz!
Jerome is an excellent teacher and Joyce is his excellent "balance" - we are eternally grateful for her much needed "patient" assistance at the lab and her hard work at the garden, and for tolerating the "boys."
(we love you, joyce <3)
While at the Liverpool lab today James sorted and tested speakers and a couple of machines using his new "AIDA" diagnostic tool. Then he single-handedly packed the three cpu's and monitors to Jerome's car for delivery to our latest Mindtriggerz computer recipients. Then he ate a lot of brownies! LOL, sorry James, but I am really glad you like my baking. So while we are giving thanks - a few pats on the back for Mr. Richardson too!
Jerome and I visited three VERY happy families and installed their Mindtriggerz computers without too much "ado" - pics will be posted on our "training lab" slide show so take a minute to go the website and watch.
(and yes, Adwin, pictured above is very, very cute!)