Comcast and One Economy held a special event today at Coppin State University in Baltimore to celebrate the Comcast Digital Connectors program which provides young people from the Baltimore area with an opportunity to learn about broadband technologies and how to put that knowledge to work in a wide range of career development and community service activities. The Digital Connectors program was founded by One Economy in 2001, and Comcast, the largest partner for the initiative, has launched the program at more than 50 locations across the United States.
Among those at the event were U.S. Congressman Elijah Cummings along with local community leaders and representatives from Comcast and One Economy; Coppin State University and Coppin Academy faculty, staff and students; and parents and family members of the Comcast Digital Connectors. At the event, Congressman Cummings and David L. Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast Corporation, discussed the importance of digital education and Comcast Digital Connector students shared their experiences and projects. Comcast also announced its plans to provide each of the Comcast Digital Connectors participants with a netbook computer upon graduation from the program.
“The Comcast Digital Connectors program helps provide access to vital tools that will help our children compete and win in the new economy,” said Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. “By encouraging digital literacy, we are developing the skills and talents of our young people, and investing in the innovation and discovery that will build a better future for generations to come.”
“The Digital Connectors program is both an exciting and extremely important initiative for Comcast and the Comcast Foundation. Developing digital literacy skills in young people is essential to their future and to the future of the nation’s workforce,” said Cohen. “Along with digital education, these young people from diverse, low-income communities experience a unique opportunity to improve their lives and the lives of others by cultivating leadership skills, impacting their neighborhoods through community service and preparing for their bright futures.”
On September 13, 2010, 13 students from Coppin Academy High School, a public charter high school located on the Coppin State University campus, began gathering at the Coppin Heights-Rosemont Family Computer Center five times per week to learn real-world applications for broadband technology, including how to network computer labs and connect wireless access points. The Comcast Digital Connectors also learn life skills like financial literacy, healthy living, career development and community involvement while developing creative media projects intended to put broadband and Internet technology to their greatest use. In addition, the young people volunteer their time at community-based organizations, senior centers, churches and even in their own homes to help improve digital literacy.
“Young people are ready to embrace the ever changing technology that is shaping our world. It will be those young people who will leverage that technology to improve their lives and their communities,” said Kelley Dunne, CEO of One Economy. “The Digital Connectors program has created empowered workplace leaders and caring stewards of our communities. Together these youth are creating a lasting culture of technology use and broadband adoption across the United States.”
“Coppin State University is committed to preparing students for higher education and successful careers,” said Dr. Reginald Avery, president of Coppin State University. “We are grateful to Comcast and One Economy for helping students embrace and apply the tools that will help them along that path.”
In 2010, Comcast provided $9,000 toward construction and materials to help Coppin State University establish the Coppin Heights-Rosemont Family Computer Center where the Comcast Digital Connectors program takes place. Comcast also provides complimentary high-speed Internet service to the computer center, which is also funded by a $932,000 grant from the U. S. Department of Commerce’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).
As the nation’s largest residential Internet service provider, Comcast is contributing to One Economy’s mission to maximize the potential of technology in cities and towns across the country. Comcast’s commitment to the Digital Connectors initiative will also help One Economy increase the number of youth who will benefit from the program. The Comcast Digital Connectors program has been launched at more than 50 locations nationwide including Baltimore, MD; Philadelphia, PA; Dearborn, MI; Houston, TX; Miami, FL; Hartford, CT; Modesto, CA; Springfield, MA; Boston, MA; Morgantown, WV; Martinsville, VA and Washington, D.C.
Comcast powers dreams in the communities it serves by providing access to innovative technology, volunteering time, giving financial support and partnering with organizations to make communities stronger. The company focuses its community investment initiatives on building tomorrow’s leaders, promoting community service and expanding digital literacy. Since 2001, Comcast has provided $2.2 billion in cash and in-kind support to our communities. The company made a $1.2 million commitment to sponsor the Digital Connectors program for three years, beginning in 2009.
About the Comcast Foundation
The Comcast Foundation was founded by Comcast Corporation in June 1999 to provide charitable support to qualified non-profit organizations. The Foundation primarily invests in programs intended to have a positive, sustainable impact on their communities. The Foundation has three community investment priorities – promoting community service, expanding digital literacy, and building tomorrow’s leaders. Since its inception, the Comcast Foundation has donated over $90 million to organizations in the communities nationwide that Comcast serves. More information about the Foundation and its programs is available at www.comcast.com/community.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (www.comcast.com) is one of the world’s leading media, entertainment and communications companies. Comcast is principally involved in the operation of cable systems through Comcast Cable and in the development, production and distribution of entertainment, news, sports and other content for global audiences through NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential and business customers. Comcast is the majority owner and manager of NBCUniversal, which owns and operates entertainment and news cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, local television station groups, television production operations, a major motion picture company and theme parks.
About One Economy and the Digital Connectors
One Economy is a global nonprofit organization that uses innovative approaches to deliver the power of technology and information to low-income people. More than 17 million people have used One Economy’s online tools and resources, including the Public Internet Channel (www.pic.tv), to build better lives. One Economy has launched on-the-ground programs in 42 U.S. states, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. The Digital Connectors program is One Economy’s flagship initiative that delivers 21st century technology training to young people from low-income backgrounds, who then share what they learn within their own communities. By year’s end more than 6,000 youth will have given more than 200,000 hours of community service and will have trained 160,000 people. Learn more at www.one-economy.com. Learn more at www.one-economy.com.