AT&T, United Way Partner on Bridging the Digital Divide

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AT&T and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (UWMD) are working together to help bridge the digital divide in southern Dallas. The digital divide is the gap between those who have access to digital technology and those who don’t.

As part of AT&T Connected Learning initiative, AT&T is contributing $1 million to UWMD in support of free laptops, digital literacy training and technology support over two years.

Its goal is to help under-resourced students in southern Dallas neighborhoods engage in online learning and set them up for success in today’s digital school and job environments.

Millions of students across the country cannot connect to online learning opportunities because they have no internet access or unreliable internet access at home, no computers, or poor digital literacy skills. This is especially true in underserved communities with a high percentage of people of color, which includes southern Dallas. These students are often at-risk for falling behind their peers in the classroom and beyond.

“This collaboration with United Way builds on the continued commitment we have to addressing the digital divide in Dallas,” said Mike Peterson, vice president, AT&T Texas External Affairs. “AT&T is committed to the city of Dallas and with this contribution we are helping to remove technology barriers to education and job success for underserved students and families in southern Dallas neighborhoods.”

AT&T is directing its resources to Southern Dallas Thrives, through which more than 2,000 refurbished laptops, digital literacy workshops and technology support will be provided to K-12 students, young adults, and families in collaboration with non-profits and local schools across southern Dallas.

The program is the latest progress point for Southern Dallas Thrives, an initiative created in partnership with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, The PepsiCo Foundation and Frito-Lay North America, which advances outcomes for Pre-K-12 students, increases food access, and supports women entering and advancing in the workforce.

“We are honored to collaborate with AT&T to provide the students and families in southern Dallas with digital resources to overcome the challenges associated with the digital divide,” said Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton president and chief executive officer of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “Our work with AT&T will bolster our efforts through the Southern Dallas Thrives initiative to advance economic opportunity for students and ensure they can be competitive and successful in obtaining the living-wage jobs of the future.”