It takes a big effort to bridge the digital divide in the low-income community. It takes a strategy for community outreach. It takes a team of staff and volunteers to teach the classes.
It also takes computers.
That’s why the recent in-kind donation of 50 PC desktops and two projectors from the University of San Francisco (USF) will take MEDA’s Digital Opportunity Center up a notch. A big notch.
MEDA serves as the lead agency for the Mission Promise Neighborhood.
It seems USF was retiring some computers, but they were still in fine shape and could be put to use. That’s when MEDA’s Workforce Development Program Manager Orrian Willis received an email from USF’s Office of Diversity Engagement and Community Outreach, informing him of the opportunity.
So MEDA Development Officer Alberto Galindo reached out to his alma mater to see if Plaza Adelante could be the new home for these computing devices, with the hope of helping families living in the Mission Promise Neighborhood footprint.
“Having attended USF, I knew that the university is defined by the Jesuit tradition of social justice and commitment to service-learning. These values are shared by the Mission Promise Neighborhood, which is working toward creating a more humane and just world through our commitment to equity and inclusion. These values are exemplified through MPN partner programs that empower underrepresented communities to become financially self-sufficient,” states Galindo.
Besides replacing the aging computer’s in the Digital Opportunity Center at Plaza Adelante, MEDA’s free Mission Techies program will use some of the devices. This program takes 17- to 24-year-olds on the path to a career in tech. These young adults will now use the equipment to optimize their learning while part of the program.
Leo Sosa, technology training coordinator, sees the need to bridge the digital divide every day. He knows how important this donation is to the low-income community. His day-to-day experience is backed up by a Mission Promise Neighborhood Survey (page 23) which uncovered the startling fact that 46 percent of families did not have a home computer with internet access.
This is the tech center of the word: San Francisco. This in the center of the tech center of the word: the Mission.
Explains Mission Promise Neighborhood Director Raquel Donoso of the impact of this generous USF donation: “Many of our families do not have access to a computing device at home. This is an obstacle for family economic success and student achievement, which go hand in hand. On behalf of the Mission Promise Neighborhood. The community cannot thank USF enough for their generous donation.”
About Mission Promise Neighborhood
The Mission Promise Neighborhood is a citywide community partnership that was created to support kids and families living, working, and attending school in the Mission District. It brings together schools, colleges, community organizations and community leaders to help kids graduate and families achieve financial stability.