In conjunction with One Economy Corporation, the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) is engaged in a two-year statewide initiative to bring the benefits of broadband technology to underserved communities throughout California. This new initiative, Bring IT Home California, consists of two programs: Broadband@Home and 21st Century Communities.
Bring IT Home California Success Stories
Having grown up in Visitacion Valley, a San Francisco neighborhood, Daniel Carter has seen his share of violence. However, he has found ways to better himself and his community by participating in One Economy’s Digital Connectors program. Carter says, “Being a Digital Connector has given me an opportunity to learn new skills that can be used in my everyday life. It leaves me with a good feeling that I’m making a difference, not just for my own benefit but for others as well. I’m willing to help anyone that isn’t afraid to change for the better.”
Due to his work in the community, Carter recently made the African-American Honor Roll in the City of San Francisco and participated in the Annual African-American Honor Roll Parade. The next step in Daniel’s life? He is working as the Sunnydale Wireless Network Assistant. In this role, Daniel will oversee the maintenance of the wireless Internet network that brings AT&T Internet service to the 790 families at the Sunnydale Public Housing Development in the Visitacion Valley community of San Francisco. Daniel is not only being paid for his time, but is also acquiring valuable skills that will be useful when he graduates high school this summer and ultimately joins the workforce.
As a member of One Economy’s Digital Connectors Program for three years, Tyre has been an exceptional leader and shown dedication to serving his community by distributing computers, providing one-on-one technology education, and assisting community centers with computer installation and training. Tyre was the 2008 Lisa Y. Sullivan Horizon Award winner for being “an exceptional youth who used technology to transform low-income communities.”
“Tyre has been responsible and compassionate when serving his community,” says Leo Sosa, Digital Connectors program manager. “Understanding the collaboration of the Digital Connectors with local community centers has made Tyre more aware of how crucial technology is in today’s society.”
Tyre has graduated high school and now attends the University of California, Berkeley. Someday he hopes to start up a community center where he can give back to his community, help youth become positive citizens, and motivate them t their goals in life.
Deborah joined One Economy’s San Francisco Digital Connectors program in 2004. Through the Digital Connectors program, she helped her neighbors in ways she had never imagined. Deborah shares, “I had the privilege of teaching an elderly woman how to use the computer and the Internet. I had been teaching her for a couple of weeks when she mentioned that she had a son in the Philippines who she hadn’t heard from in years. All she had was his email address. I immediately showed her how to write and send an email, and he wrote her back the very next day! She was so grateful and joyful that she invited me to her home for dinner. I felt really proud of what I had done for her. It was so simple, but meant so much to her.”
Deborah used her technology and Internet skills to complete her schoolwork and graduated with a 4.0 GPA. Through the use of the Internet, she has been able to serve her community, enter a top school, apply and receive a $40,000 scholarship, and post her resume and obtain a part-time job. Deborah proudly states, “Technology has completely changed my life and I know that with it as a tool, I will achieve my goals.”