Organizations team up to help bridge the “homework gap”
Chicago (August 22, 2022) – Sixteen million kids in the United States don’t have access to the internet at home. Through its After School Access Project, UScellular is determined to help kids get the connectivity they need to be successful in an increasing technology-based learning environment. To further this mission, the company is donating $4.7 million in wireless hotspots and service to 17 YWCA locations across the country to help youth access the connectivity they need outside of the classroom.
The YWCA, founded in 1858, is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. UScellular will be donating 4,175 hotspots to help connect up to 16,000 youth YWCA members across the 17 locations to ensure they have internet access at their local YWCA and at home.
“We are pleased to team up with the YWCA to continue closing the homework gap,” said Deirdre Drake, executive vice president and chief people officer at UScellular, “We are passionate about connecting our communities and encouraging education, and After School Access Project has allowed us to simultaneously do both.”
Hotspots are stand-alone Wi-Fi networks that can connect several devices at once wirelessly and have proven to be a vital tool for youth to access the internet, study and complete homework. The hotspots provided through After School Access Project connect to UScellular’s network to provide high-speed connectivity for YWCA youth.
“We are excited to partner with UScellular to help students in our communities gain the access they need to be successful,” said Margaret Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of YWCA USA. “These hotspots will open up new opportunities for the students and families we serve, and we are grateful for this new resource across our organization.”
The local associations receiving hotspots for their youth programs are as follows: Canton, Ill.; Clinton, Dubuque and Marshalltown, Iowa; Lewiston, Maine; Lincoln, Neb.; Manchester, N.H; Asheville and Wilmington, N.C.; Enid and Oklahoma City, Okla.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Lynchburg, Va.; Yakima, Wash.; Green Bay, Janesville and Madison, Wis.
In addition to providing hotspots, UScellular has committed to donate up to $150,000 for YWCA locations in Asheville, Dubuque, Green Bay, Oklahoma City, Knoxville, and Yakima to benefit their youth programs through a social media campaign designed to spread awareness on bridging the homework gap. UScellular has teamed up with nine content creators to encourage their followers to comment and share how connectivity – or the lack thereof – has personally affected education in their own lives.
Through the After School Access Project, UScellular has pledged to donate up to $13 million in hotspots and service to help up to 50,000 youth connect to reliable internet in its markets. To date, the company has donated more than 9,300 hotspots, a value of $10.5 million, to its communities through this initiative. Eligible 501c3 nonprofit organizations are encouraged to apply by going to www.AfterSchoolAccessProject.com.
UScellular is focused on addressing gaps in STEM education and is committed to connecting innovators with the resources, like hotspots, they need today to help shape future opportunities. Since 2009, UScellular has donated more than $22.6 million along with countless experiences and technology items to nonprofit organizations across the country. For more information about the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, please go to https://newsroom.uscellular.com/community/.
UScellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier provides a strong, reliable network supported by the latest technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. To learn more about UScellular, visit one of its retail stores or www.uscellular.com. To get the latest news, visit newsroom.uscellular.com. Connect with UScellular on social media at facebook.com/uscellular, twitter.com/uscellular, instagram.com/uscellular, YouTube.com/uscellularcorp and linkedin.com/company/uscellular.
About YWCA USA
YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families.
YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for more than 160 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls. Learn more at www.ywca.org.