DCHS student ahead of the game…console

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Becca Meusch

Removing the screen and cover from a Nintendo DS, senior Nathan Kovar tries to replace internal parts of the device to help it return to full function. Kovar began repairing technological devices for people early in his high school career and started his business in his junior year.

Becca Meusch

There I was, urgently getting out of my car for school so I could make it on time to class, when my phone slipped out of my pocket and smacked face down onto a rock on the pavement. With fingers crossed, I gently picked up my phone, and to my luck, all broken and shattered, I needed a new phone screen. What would my mom think? How could I get this repaired for an economical price?

From phone screens to coffee machines, he can fix it all at a reasonable price. Just stop into David City High School’s media center during access period and senior Nathan Kovar can attempt all of your technology problems and fixes.

Kovar started this journey early during his freshman year of high school when he was given an iPod touch to fix. After a failed attempt to fix the device, he had motivation to accomplish greater things, he said.

“When I was three years old I got my hands on a Sega console that my uncle had, and whenever I had the opportunity, I was over there playing it. The first console that I could remember myself is when I got my Gameboy Advance. It was just a purplish little gray pad,” Kovar said. “I thought, ‘Woah games are really cool! How do you get these images?’ So, I’ve always wondered that ever since I was younger since that day. It wasn’t until about two years ago that I really started looking into it. I was just really busy with school.”

After an atrocious car accident during Kovar’s sophomore year, he said he wanted to do more with himself and the idea of starting a business for fixing other’s technology came to mind. Kovar said it wasn’t until a year later that he got the business up and running.

“I kind of started looking into things more. I would spend countless hours down in my room on my computer looking up how things work and stuff like that,” Kovar said. “It was kind of a real big life changing experience, and I just wanted to do more with my life.”

Kovar started by doing a few fixes for families and friends because they trusted his abilities. He said the hardest part was getting his business going because of the stereotype of just being a young high schooler and trusting him with expensive electronic devices. After some advice from a few business owners, word of mouth, and the creation of his Facebook page, Kovar was able to get more business.

“During the summer, I was trying hard to push my name out there. Mrs. Siffring brought up the idea of having it in the school, and I was amazed. Mr. Sieck agreed to watch over me to make sure I am doing what I am supposed to,” Kovar said. “Honestly, if it wasn’t for Mrs. Siffring, I wouldn’t have this opportunity now.”

During the school day, Kovar is allowed allotted time to work on devices for his customers in the media center. He was even given his own area and storage cabinet.

“Nathan has done a lot towards researching how to set up his own business and is actively working his business during the school day. He also has support from Mr. Ebbeka and Mr. Sieck when he has questions or needs assistance,” Guidance Counselor Brenda Siffring said. “I believe if he can continue to get the word out in our community that he’s doing this kind of work, he will get swamped with customers.”

Android phones, Apple devices, computers, home phones, track phones, video game consoles, Gameboys, cartridges. You name it, and Kovar is likely to be able to fix it. Although devices can be unpredictable at times, he said he attempts anything he can get his hands on. Kovar said he offers some different prices for the quality of the parts you would like to fix your products. With the price of the part and the flat rate of about twenty dollars an hour, depending of the difficulty, you can get your technology fixed for an eye catching price.

“He is fixing a Nintendo DS for me, but I told him not to worry about getting it done anytime soon. It’s kind of just a side project, but what he has done so far is good work, and he gets things done quickly when he has time to work on it,” senior Josh Sturgeon said. “He did give me a lot of good information about computers when I was in the process of buying one.”

Not only does Kovar know a lot about computers to fix them, but he has also built two of his own. After years of saving up money from detasseling and taking odd jobs, he was able to build his first computer, a gaming PC, for around a thousand dollars.

“I did hours of research, hours of searching for parts. I started building it one time at around nine at night and finished at three in the morning,” Kovar said. “I sat around a table with computer parts around me, and I put them all inside of a case and wired everything right and stuff like that.”

The second computer he built was for his grandmother who wanted a cheap computer, he said. For 400 dollars he was able to create an almost perfectly running PC, with an occasional few glitches in a program that he recently fixed.

His biggest accomplishment Kovar takes great pride in is the Keurig coffee machine. It was given to him as a challenge while working at Ace Hardware, by a customer who considered it to be a lost cause. After hunting down parts and hours of troubleshooting, he was able to fix and keep the machine for just 10 dollars.

“I think the only thing that keeps me in the business is the fact that I love technology as much as I do, and I feel like it can change the world for the better if it is used correctly,” Kovar said. 

Kovar plans to attend the University of Nebraska at Omaha next year in the fall and double major in computer engineering and computer sciences. He said he isn’t sure how far he will go with his business, but right now it is a good source of income to help prepare him for his future. He hopes to continue in the networking portion of things and join the company Google.

“He’s been able to put his name out there, and he definitely has an edge when it comes to making it to college and finding a job in his field,” Sturgeon said. “The fact that he started his own business at a young age is impressive to a lot of people. His business has potential to continue during and past college.”

Next time you need a device fixed, simply drop into the media center and give Kovar a shout. If you are like me and smash your phone in car seats or drop it in juice or the ice bath at school, he is a skilled, local resource. Also, check out his Facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/TheKovarsTechRepair/?fref=ts