“We want to wrap our arms around the school district and support them all year long moving forward with a digital equity initiative,” said Deneiva Knight, Comcast Utah’s External Affairs Director, before presenting four refugee families backpacks full of supplies and a laptop computer. “This is just the first event, not a one-time event.”
Comcast and the Alpine School District Foundation have partnered to create digital equity for students and families in the area. “My role at the Foundation is to connect our school district with our community partners. Sometimes they have great ideas,and sometimes we have great ideas, and sometimes those ideas align,” began Tyler Vigue, ASD Foundation Director. “In the school district, there are many principles we talk about – for example, we want our students to feel safe, connected and confident. Those are three of the values we emphasize and promote. Of course, we have other objectives and goals, but this project fits all three.”
Four refugee families, three from Ukraine and one from the Congo, came to the Skyridge High School Library on Friday, October 28, where they received a fully loaded laptop computer, digital devices, a backpack and new winter coats from OperationWarm.
“Comcast has been in the digital equity space years now, launching the Internet Essentials Program, a low-cost, high-speed home internet service, more than ten years ago,” Knight explained. “Project Up is a one-billion-dollar commitment to curb the digital divide. We do that through Internet Essentials,and we also support digital literacy programs locally. Everything is online now – school, work, and even job applications. If you don’t have a laptop, personal device, or home internet, it makes it so hard. These new Utahns might have family and friends overseas that they want to stay connected to, and that’s hard to do if you don’t have internet.”
The new Utahns accepted their gifts with smiles and handshakes, “I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for the help from the country. We’ve never felt so much love. Thank you,” said one Ukrainian father.