After School Access Project
The homework gap is a harsh reality for many students who lack reliable internet access outside the classroom. These students miss out on essential tools and opportunities for continued learning after school. At UScellular, we are working to help end this divide. In 2021, we launched After School Access Project with a pledge to provide up to $13 million in hotspots and service in 2022 to help up to 50,000 youth get connected. In 2023, we extended the commitment with an additional $13 million in hotspots and service.
By partnering with youth-serving nonprofits in UScellular markets, we've been able to bring much-needed connectivity to help youth continue to learn and thrive. Eligible nonprofits are encouraged to apply.
Bridging the Digital Divide
Nonprofits working with youth are encouraged to apply if the following criteria is met:
- Certified 501c3 nonprofit organization
- Operate within UScellular’s service area
- Focused on kindergarten through 12th grade youth
- Not a school or government entity
“As we live in an increasingly digital and online world, more educational opportunities, curriculum and programs are turned into digital apps and websites to help reach more youth. But for the youth who don’t have access to reliable internet, it only makes the digital divide even greater.”
– Laurent (LT) Therivel, UScellular CEO
Our CEO shared how UScellular is helping bridge the digital divide and the positive impact that access to reliable internet through After School Access Project has had on youth in this article.
Boys & Girls Club of the Cedar Valley (Waterloo, IA)
Check out this video to see how the Club finds having access to reliable internet has a positive impact on its youth members. Their afterschool and summer programs use the hotspots for various activities including homework assistance and access to online math games. The Club also uses the hotspots on field trips to learn about plants, insects and animals when in remote areas. These experiences, along with having access to online Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs could help expand Club members future career paths.
Communities in Schools of Central Washington (Yakima, WA)
Elementary students Carlos, Olivia, and their family arrived in the United States a few years ago with asylum protection. To support the students’ learning outside of school, Communities In Schools of Central Washington connected the family with a UScellular hotspot and additional wraparound services. Now Carlos and Olivia can access reading and math materials online, and their two older siblings can also access online learning. As English language learners, Carlos and Olivia have been working hard to improve their reading levels with support from their CIS Student Advocate.
Connecting the Numbers
- Donated more than 12,000 hotspots to youth-serving nonprofits.
- Nearly 50,000 youth provided with access to reliable connectivity.
- More than $20 million in hotspots and service since 2021.