Three million newly eligible households include those with disabilities and seniors. In eight years, the program has now connected more than eight million people from two million households to the internet at home.
Comcast announced today it is significantly expanding eligibility for Internet Essentials, which is the nation’s largest, most comprehensive, and most successful broadband adoption program in America, to include all qualified low-income households in its service area. The expansion is the most significant change in the program’s history. The Company estimates that more than three million additional low-income households, including households with people with disabilities, are now eligible to apply. It estimates a total of nearly seven million households now have access to low-cost Internet service, which literally doubles the total number of previously eligible households. In addition, the company announced that, since August 2011, Internet Essentials has connected more than eight million low-income individuals, from two million households, to the Internet at home, most for the first time in their lives. Today’s announcement follows 11 prior eligibility expansions, including last year’s extension of the program to low-income veterans.
“This expansion is the culmination of an audacious goal we set eight years ago, which was to meaningfully and significantly close the digital divide for low-income Americans,” said David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast NBCUniversal. “The Internet is arguably the most important technological innovation in history, and it is unacceptable that we live in a country where millions of families and individuals are missing out on this life-changing resource. Whether the Internet is used for students to do their homework, adults to look for and apply for new jobs, seniors to keep in touch with friends and family, or veterans to access their well-deserved benefits or medical assistance, it is absolutely essential to be connected in our modern, digital age.”
To be eligible to apply to the program, low-income applicants simply need to show they are participating in one of more than a dozen different government assistance programs. These include: Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). A full list of these programs can be found at www.internetessentials.com. The Company already accepts applications from households that have a student eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program, live in public housing or receive HUD Housing Assistance, including Section 8 vouchers, or participate in the Veterans Pension Program, as well as low-income seniors and community college students in select pilot markets.
According to U.S. Census data, households living in cities with the highest poverty rates, are up to 10 times more likely than those in higher earning communities not to have fixed broadband at home. For example, in Palo Alto, California, or Bethesda, Maryland – where poverty rates are very low – only about six percent of households do not have a broadband Internet subscription – 94 percent are connected. But in Trenton, New Jersey, and Flint, Michigan – where poverty rates are way above the national average – 60 percent or more of households do not have fixed broadband at home – that is, less than half are connected. That gap of more than 50 points defines the digital divide in this country.
Internet Essentials has an integrated, wrap-around design that addresses each of the three major barriers to broadband adoption that research has identified. These include: a lack of digital literacy skills, lack of awareness of the relevance of the Internet to every day life needs, and fear of the Internet, the lack of a computer, and cost. As a result, the program includes: multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online, and in person, the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for less than $150; and low-cost, high-speed Internet service for $9.95 a month plus tax. The program is structured as a partnership between Comcast and tens of thousands of school districts, libraries, elected officials, and nonprofit community partners. For more information, or to apply for the program in seven different languages, please visit www.internetessentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376. Spanish-only speakers can also call 1-855-765-6995.
The most significant barrier to broadband adoption in low-income communities remains a basket of digital literacy deficits, lack of digital awareness, and fear of the Internet. To help address this barrier, since 2011, Comcast has invested more than $650 million to support digital literacy training and awareness, reaching more than 9.5 million low-income Americans. In addition, the company has either sold or donated more than 100,000 discounted and heavily subsidized computers to families and veterans that need one.
See the original article HERE
SER-Jobs for Progress National, Inc. is proud to announce that AT&T Aspire has awarded $125,000 to SER education programs. The purpose of their decision is to support SER Jobs for Progress National’s Propel Robotics program in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which serves 150 opportunity youth, with an emphasis on female students and underrepresented minorities, to explore and pursue STEM fields of interest. We want to thank AT&T Aspire for their generous contribution and look forward to further empower students to reach their highest potential.
Read the full letter from AT&T Aspire below:
Congratulations! We are very much looking forward to working with you and your team on our shared goal to empower students everywhere to reach their highest potential.
Through AT&T Aspire, we are investing in students today – at home, in the classroom, at work – to prepare them for success tomorrow. We see tremendous value in your education program and are pleased to award a contribution in the amount of $125,000.00 for SER Jobs for Progress National Inc
The purpose of the contribution is:
To support SER Jobs for Progress National’s Propel Robotics program in five locations (three existing and two new locations) in the Dallas-Fort Worth area serving 150 opportunity youth, with an emphasis on female students and underrepresented minorities, to explore and pursue STEM fields of interest as they discover exciting career opportunities
We are excited to share this good news about funding your program and we want to hear about the positive impact your program is having on students. You can share your results in the survey you will receive from us on or around July 2020. We will send an email reminder approximately six weeks before your feedback is due with instructions on submitting the survey.
Please accept our best wishes for much success.
AVP – Social Innovation
From Javier Giribet-Vargas
A team of 23 high school students with special needs earned a standing ovation for winning a sportsmanship award during a district robotics competition.
The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees led the applause for Sunset High School’s RoboFlash team, which earned the Gracious Professionalism Award during a robotics competition in March.
“I think teams are seeing that our team is one to be reckoned with,” said Pauline Tatum, special education teacher at Sunset High School and the RoboFlash coach.
For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) is a national nonprofit that works to spark the youth’s interest in engineering through robotics competitions and other hands-on activities.
For the first time in history, a standalone team of students with special needs won the Gracious Professionalism Award, Tatum said. This prize rewards those who “compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process,” according to FIRST’s website.
The RoboFlash teammates are part of an after-school robotics club where all students have special needs. Gabriel Reyes, a 14-year-old incoming sophomore who falls along the autism spectrum, joined the club at the beginning of his freshman year.
His family wasn’t convinced about letting him join the club at first, said Cristal Gonzalez, his older sister. Gabriel was shy and struggled to socialize, and his mom and sister feared that he’d be pushed too far too fast.
“In middle school, he never participated in anything like that. But after joining, I actually saw him coming home and talking to us about the stuff that they did after school,” Gonzalez said. “It got him out of his shell, made him express himself more and boosted his morale. It’s something that we’d never seen in him.”
Tatum, Reyes and senior Josh Preciado talked about the team’s latest accomplishment during the June 27 Dallas ISD Board of Trustees meeting.
“When [the team]won the award, Gabriel really felt proud of himself,” Gonzalez said. “He called everybody, our aunt, our uncle and mom, because she was still at work, and told them ‘I won, I won.’ He wanted everybody to know.”
Tatum has been teaching at Sunset High School for almost 20 years. On 2017, RoboFlash debuted at the FIRST Robotics Competition, contesting against the general education population. The participants build their own robot, and earn points depending on how well it can perform specific tasks.
During the tournaments the teams compete against each other in alliances with others. Not only do the students get assistance and guidance from their peers in the general education population, but also get a sense of acceptance. Just this year, RoboFlash improved their score from last year, which lead them to rank as the 150th among all 183 teams across the state.
“We are opening the doors for the kids with special needs to compete alongside the general education cohort,” Tatum said. “They engineer with their minds and build stuff with their hands. It might take them double the time, and sometimes triple the time. It takes them longer, but once they get it, they get it.”
See the full article here: https://thehub.dallasisd.org/2019/07/09/standing-ovation-sportsmanship-award-for-robotics-team-comprised-of-students-with-special-needs/
Washington, D.C. – SER-Jobs for Progress National, Inc. affirms its support of the trilateral trade agreement between the United States, Mexico, and Canada (USMCA). The new trade agreement replaces the outdated NAFTA with significant improvements in our trade and investment relationships with Mexico and Canada. On behalf of our members and supporters across the country we urge Congress to ratify USMCA.
Ratification of this agreement is important in strengthening trade and commerce among our regional partners. In addition, USMCA promotes transparency and accountability when developing and implementing regulations, increased labor standards and worker representation, intellectual environmental obligations, and fair market accessibility.
Support for the USMCA agreement is in the best interest of the North American economy. The ratification of USMCA provides tangible economic benefits and important humanitarian efforts that will impact our families, our communities, and our businesses. We strongly urge you to support a bipartisan ratification of USMCA.
SER-Jobs for Progress National, Inc.