14 Aug Local Students To Receive Free Wi-Fi Hotspots Helping Bridge Digital Divide
LOS ANGELES- Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson has announced the launch of a citywide program to give local high school students from low-income homes free Wi-Fi hotspots for their schoolwork. In partnership with the 1Million Project Foundation and the Los Angeles Unified School District, Wesson plans to award four years of free Wi-Fi service to Los Angeles-area high school students in an effort to help bridge the digital divide amongst high school students in Los Angeles.
“A child who grows up in an environment where they have computers and internet will do better than the young people who do not have these tools,” said Wesson. “We are partnering with the 1Million Project Foundation and Los Angeles Unified School District and going into economically-challenged areas to give these children a hand-up so they can compete in the future. I can’t think of a more important responsibility than helping our young people with an opportunity to flourish.”
The 1Million Project was created by Sprint which donates wireless service to enable high school students to achieve their full potential. According to the 1Million Project Foundation, millions of high school students do not have access to reliable internet access at home and do not have the same opportunities to achieve their full academic potential in comparison to their peers with internet access at home. 70% of America’s school teachers assign homework to be completed online, but more than 5 million families with school-aged children do not have reliable internet connectivity at home. This disconnect leads to dramatically inequitable outcomes among students. The Council President is working with the 1Million Project Foundation in their mission “to help 1 million high school students who do not have reliable Internet access at home reach their full potential by giving them hotspots and free high-speed Internet access.”
“A lack of Internet access due to economic circumstances or lack of resources in the home or the community should not be a barrier to success or the cause of technological literacy – and we thank everyone involved in the effort to bridge the tech divide,” said LA Unified Board President Dr. Richard Vladovic.
The LA City-LA Unified-1Million Project partnership follows the 2015 digital inclusion program, OurCycleLA, created by Council President Wesson and the City Council. OurCycle LA was designed to take advantage of the thousands of salvage computers from the City in an effort to reduce the electronic waste footprint and bridge the digital divide in Los Angeles by distributing them to qualified participants in underserved communities throughout the City. The partnership with the 1Million Project Foundation serves as a next step in the effort to minimize the digital inequity in low-income communities.
“Years ago it was thought that if you simply attended school, no matter your economic background, you will be on an equal playing field with an opportunity to obtain a job and achieve the American Dream,” said Wesson. “Now because of the digital divide, achieving the American Dream through education is becoming more and more challenging in disadvantaged neighborhoods. With our partnership with Sprint’s 1Million Project and LA Unified, we’re working to equalize this playing field in Los Angeles.”
“We are excited to be partnering with City Council President Wesson and LA Unified to accelerate the 1Million Project in Los Angeles,” said Doug Michelman, President of the 1Million Project Foundation. “ We have already connected more than 225,000 high school students around the country, including nearly 15,000 LA Unified students, to help them reach their full potential. With the added help of City Council President Wesson, we are confident that even more eligible students in Los Angeles will receive a free device and connectivity so that they can do their best in school and have an equal opportunity to succeed in life.”
To apply for a hotspot go to www.herbwesson.com/1million