Nearly 200 students and families in Detroit affected by the digital divide received free refurbished laptops at SER Metro-Detroit’s Hispanic Heritage Festival last Thursday, October 19 as part of AT&T’s nationwide commitment to help bridge the digital divide.
The laptops, funded by an AT&T contribution to Human I-T, were given to preselected youth and families served by SER Metro-Detroit to help them fully participate in our digital world.
“This continued collaboration with AT&T and Human I-T at our Connected Learning Center provides essential connectivity and digital resources to some of our most vulnerable students and families,” said Eva Garza Dewaelsche, President and CEO, SER Metro-Detroit. “These laptops are a great addition to our Connected Learning Center, providing the technology and connection our families need at home to thrive in today’s digital age.”
In Detroit, it’s estimated that 25 percent of residents don’t have access to the Internet at home , which can limit their ability to access the computers or skills needed to benefit from the online world – an issue known as the digital divide.
In November of 2022, AT&T also opened a new AT&T Connected Learning Center® inside SER Metro-Detroit. The center provides high-speed AT&T Fiber internet, Wi-Fi, computers, education resources and tutoring and mentoring for local students and community members.
“AT&T is proud to collaborate with organizations like SER Metro-Detroit to help close the digital equity gap in the city. Many students and families in Detroit lack the devices needed for digital learning and engagement,” said David Lewis, State President, AT&T Michigan. “Access to connectivity is vital in helping to bridge the digital divide, and we are glad we can provide these resources to those that need them most.”
These efforts are part of the AT&T Connected Learning initiative to help address the digital divide through internet accessibility, affordability and safe adoption. AT&T is committed to connecting more Americans to reliable, high-quality internet in several ways, including expanding and upgrading our network and participating in the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
Human-I-T creates equitable access to opportunity by providing devices, internet access, digital skills training, and tech support for communities left on the wrong side of the digital divide—while at the same time, empowering businesses and organizations to do good by diverting technology from landfills to protect our planet. Human-I-T believes access to technology is a right, not a privilege. It’s what allows people to study remotely, apply for jobs, attend telehealth appointments, connect with distant family, or explore new ideas and perspectives. In order to shrink this divide, Human-I-T makes it easy for its partners to do good and they invite others to join them to create a world where everyone can access opportunities to unlock their full potential.
SER Metro-Detroit began in 1971 as a small community-based organization and has since evolved into a vital Detroit resource that impacts thousands of residents each year. Through a series of education, job training, and job placement programs, along with youth development and education initiatives, SER provides Detroit residents with the skills, resources, and opportunities they need to achieve self-sufficiency.