A step closer to closing the digital divide in Milwaukee: Education grants provide free laptops

NOW: A step closer to closing the digital divide in Milwaukee: Education grants provide free laptops

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee is now one step closer to closing the digital divide. The COVID-19 pandemic shined a light on the digital equity challenges we face as a nation. One of those is having reliable access to internet service. 

Tuesday, May 10, the YWCA Southeast Wisconsin continued to aid in the efforts to remove barriers to digital inclusion. Whether it's working remote or virtually learning, people in Milwaukee need broadband access. 

Spectrum, the YWCA Southeast Wisconsin and Digital Bridge of Milwaukee presented two digital education grants totaling a whopping $40,000. The money goes toward removing barriers to digital inclusion by providing devices to those in need. 

"I got a beautiful laptop computer which I am grateful for I think God for that it helps me prepare for college. I'm not going to worry about a laptop, it helps me research and dig in deeper to be successful in school," said student Takara Bowman. 

These efforts are part of a five-year, $7 million commitment to digital literacy by Spectrum. It's a need made more urgent by the pandemic. 

Tracy Williams, President/CEO of YWCA said, "COVID-19 exasperated a lot of disparities that already existed technology is critical more now than ever. Everything is virtual now from ordering food to grocery shopping everything is online now." 

A little help in the virtual world leaving students dreaming and community leaders encouraging acts of kindness. 

"I have a lot of goals and dreams and goals and dreams I am just trying to manifest here right now," said Bowman. 

"Do not underestimate the power of giving and everyone can play a part," said Williams. 

One in four homes in Milwaukee do not have reliable internet access. To learn more about the efforts of the YWCA SEW, click here

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