AT&T and Connected Nation expand free device program to help thousands of vulnerable students

An additional 4,664 hotspots, free internet services provided to address homework gap, bringing total amount of students reached through hotspot program to nearly 40,000 nationwide

Bowling Green, Ky. (November 9, 2021) – As part of AT&T’s commitment to bridge the Digital Divide and narrow the homework gap, Connected Nation (CN) is working with AT&T to deliver hotspots to 15 organizations nationally, building on the more than 124 organizations and 35,000 students that received hotspots earlier this year. Now, 4,664 free mobile hotspots and 14 months of free AT&T wireless internet service will be available to thousands more vulnerable students.

“This new contribution continues to deliver upon AT&T’s $10 million commitment to helping our nation’s most at-risk children — following the fulfillment of more than 35,000 hotspots and internet services supplied to schools and nonprofits earlier this year to address needs exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tom Ferree, Chairman & CEO, Connected Nation. “The impact of the AT&T Connected Learning program cannot be overstated. Together, we are now supporting more than 40,000 students who are the most vulnerable among us. The changes these students have experienced over the last nearly two years can feel overwhelming, but 24/7 connectivity is a lifeline that ensures they have access to the learning opportunities and resources they need to thrive.”

The additional 4,664 hotspots will be distributed to the following awardees:

  • C5 Youth Foundation of Southern California
  • Big Brother Big Sisters of Hawai’i, Boys and Girls Club of Hawai’i, the Institute for Human Services (IHS) Honolulu, the IHS Children Program, Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services, Maui Hui Malama, and Waimea Middle School, located in Hawaii
  • 100 Black Men of Louisville, located in Kentucky
  • Project Rousseau, located in New York State
  • City Square, For Oak Cliff, and the United Way of Metro Dallas, located in Texas
  • DECA, located in Virginia, will distribute hotspots to students nationwide
  • CASA, located in Washington State, will distribute hotspots to students nationwide

“Through our work with Connected Nation, we’ve been able to reach tens of thousands of our nation’s most vulnerable students who are at high risk of falling behind because they don’t have adequate internet connectivity to participate in online learning,” said Mylayna Albright, Assistant Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility at AT&T. “Now, we’re thrilled to expand our collaboration to provide devices and Wi-Fi internet service to even more at-risk students across the nation, helping them connect with online learning opportunities so they can advance their education, both in school and at home.”

The initial 35,000 hotspots were delivered to 124 schools and nonprofits between May and August. Through this initiative, AT&T and Connected Nation are primarily focused on providing access for students in the following groups:

  • Students in foster care
  • Students experiencing homelessness
  • English language learners
  • Students with disabilities
  • Students eligible for the Migrant Education Program
  • Other at-risk students who may be disconnected from traditional education opportunities

To see the full list of awardees and learn more about the impact of this program, head to connectednation.org/homeworkgap.

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About Connected Nation: Connected Nation is celebrating 20 years of service in 2021. Its mission is to improve lives by providing innovative solutions that expand access to and increase the adoption and use of broadband (high-speed internet) and its related technologies for all people. Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation.

The national nonprofit works with consumers, local community leaders, states, technology providers, and foundations to develop and implement technology expansion programs with core competencies centered on a mission to improve digital inclusion for people and places previously underserved or overlooked. For more information, please visit: connectednation.org and follow Connected Nation on Facebook and Twitter.

About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T: We’re committed to advancing education, creating opportunities, strengthening communities and improving lives. AT&T Connected Learning is a multi-year commitment to bridge the digital divide and narrow the homework gap, so today’s learners are connected with skills, resources, and opportunities for success in school and in life. Since 2008, we’ve committed more than $600 million to programs that help millions of students across all 50 states and around the world, particularly those in underserved communities.

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