Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Vice Mayor Eric Guerra joined Comcast at two events in Sacramento today to announce the largest eligibility expansion of Internet Essentials in California. The program, which is the nation’s largest, most comprehensive, and most successful low-income broadband adoption initiative, will now be available to double the number of eligible low-income households, including those with people with disabilities and seniors.
(Left to Right) David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast; Rico Roman, Paralympic Gold Medalist and veteran; student from La Familia Counseling Center; Darrell Steinberg, Mayor,City of Sacramento; Rachel Rios, Executive Director, La Familia Counseling Center.
Since 2011, more than 8 million low-income Americans have been connected to the Internet at home through the Internet Essentials program, 90 percent of whom were not connected to the Internet at home until they signed up through Internet Essentials. This includes more than one million residents across California, which is the number one state in terms of overall participation in the program. Nearly 165,000 low-income individuals have been connected in the greater Sacramento area.
This morning, U.S. Paralympic Gold Medalist and Purple Heart Recipient Rico Roman joined Cohen at La Familia Counseling Center, where Comcast announced a grant to develop an innovative new intergenerational digital literacy training program. Participating youth, ages 15-20, will be trained to provide digital literacy training to seniors. The program will empower the youth with leadership abilities, training experience, and other valuable skills, as well as enable them to build relationships with seniors. The Comcast grant will also cover stipends to the young people for their participation in the program. Participating seniors will gain valuable digital literacy skills while forming new friendships, helping to keep them engaged, vibrant, and socially connected.
Comcast also surprised 150 La Familia seniors and young adults with laptops and six months of complimentary Internet Essentials service.
“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, it is absolutely essential to success in our modern, digital age.” said David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast NBCUniversal. “That’s why this intergenerational digital literacy training program we launched today with La Familia is so important.”
In the afternoon, Comcast, in partnership with the Sacramento Unified School District, hosted an event for students, their families, and school faculty at Earl Warren Elementary. Comcast surprised more than 200 students with laptops and six months of complimentary Internet Essentials service.
“Our student population is 95 percent diverse, with a majority being Hispanic. Additionally, nearly all of our students participate in the National School Lunch Program,” said Matthew Schlager, Principal, Earl Warren Elementary School. “So, events like the one Comcast hosted with us today are incredibly important and will help our kids and their families so much. Having the Internet and a computer at home and developing digital literacy at a young age are major contributors to future success. These tools will help form a solid foundation for our young people, enabling them to excel in school, pursue higher education and, eventually, get a great job.”