On Saturday, July 17, Mi Casa Resource Center and the Comcast Foundation celebrated the graduation of Mi Casa’s inaugural class of Digital Connectors, a group of 12 youth from diverse, low-income backgrounds, who recently completed the 10-month digital literacy program. Mi Casa’s Digital Connectors showcased what they learned about digital media, broadband technology, and putting their knowledge to work for the betterment of their community.
The Comcast Digital Connectors program is an innovative partnership between the Comcast Foundation and One Economy Corporation which has launched in several Comcast markets across the country to involve youth in bridging the digital divide, or the gap – often along socioeconomic and generational lines – between those with access to digital technology and those without.
“The Digital Connectors program is an important initiative for Comcast as we continue to seek out opportunities to educate young people about civic engagement and instill in them the leadership and technology skills that are so essential to their futures,” said Scott Binder, regional senior vice president of Comcast. “We are proud to honor these students for their initiative and commitment.”
The 12 Mi Casa Digital Connectors recognized on July 17 – six received certificates of completion and six received certificates of participation – are local youth ranging in age from 14 to 21. They come from different schools including North High, and P.S.1 Charter School. In exchange for their hard work and time commitment, which averaged six hours per week for 10 months, the Digital Connectors received a desktop computer and a USB drive. In recognition of their graduation, the Comcast Foundation and One Economy Corporation will reward each Digital Connector with a flip camera AND a netbook computer!
“We have encouraged our Digital Connectors to think about the program as a job, complete with important responsibilities, high expectations and tangible rewards,” said Andrea Herrera Moreno, Mi Casa’s Digital Connectors Program Coordinator.
Perla Jimenez, 19, participated in the program with her two younger brothers and will be recognized on July 17. “I’m a Digital Connector because I see myself as a leader to my younger siblings. I know that if I do something good they’ll want to follow in my footsteps,” Perla says.
Perla was named Mi Casa Digital Connector of the month in February 2010 and received the same honor nationally in March. Perla has been an enthusiastic participant in the Digital Connectors classes and service projects even as she gets ready to attend Community College of Denver in the fall. Perla is proud and excited to be the first person in her family to graduate high school – and in four years, she plans to be the first to graduate from college.