To help provide equitable access and learning opportunities and keep local youth connected, UScellular donated 25 wireless hotspots and two years of service to the Alfond Youth & Community Center in Waterville as part of of its after-school access project.
Currently, more than 40 million people in the United States lack reliable high-speed internet access, and, UScellular notes, this can lead to a problem known as “the homework gap” among consumers. young people who do not have adequate Internet access. After School Access Project provides free mobile hotspots and services to nonprofit organizations that support young people after the school day is over and provide safe internet access for homework and education.
“The success of students in the communities we serve is very important to us at UScellular,” Tabatha McKay, Vice President/Region General Manager, said in a UScellular press release. “Connecting people and communities is our mission and the After School Access Project is just one of the ways we are helping to ensure students have the reliable access they need to grow and pursue their dreams. .
The center uses donated hotspots to better serve its K-12 participants and their families. The organization uses the hotspots in its 72,000 square foot facility, along with a hotspot lending program to expand virtual AYCC programs, such as academic support, health and wellness , Unified and building skills in karate, athletics, swimming and art .
“We believe using hotspots will allow AYCC to bring our programs to our community at large,” says Ken Walsh, CEO of Alfond Youth & Community Center. “This will help us expand our virtual programming to communities that are not close to the community center and help us reach more youth and families in need.”
Through the After-School Access Project, UScellular has pledged up to $13 million in hotspots and services to help up to 50,000 young people connect to reliable internet on its markets. To date, the company has donated more than 9,300 access points, worth $10.5 million. Eligible nonprofits are encouraged to apply by visiting AfterSchoolAccessProject.com.