BOSTON — A local non-profit is giving families in need a brand-new computer, internet access and training, all for less than the cost of a pair of sneakers.
The program is called tech Goes home, and co-Director Theodora Hanna says they’re expanding outside of Boston.
“Technology is changing faster and faster and that means if you don't have access to it, you are getting left behind at a faster and faster pace,” she said.
Computers are a necessity, but thousands of families in the greater Boston area can't afford one. According to Hanna, Boston has the highest level of income inequality.
“Technology is a huge barrier for folks who are caught in a cycle of poverty. Because how do you find a job if you don't know how to write a resume? If you don't have a computer to write it on?” she said.
It's a reality Tech Goes Home wants to change. Program volunteers teach families how to use a computer and the internet. Then, once they complete a 15-hour course, the family has the option of buying a new computer with internet for $50.
“We start with age 3, we serve 3 to 93. Really, everyone needs the internet and needs help leveling the playing field a little bit,” Hanna said.
More than 300 students at McCormack Middle School in Boston have received Chromebooks through the program, and around 25,000 families in the Boston area have benefited.
“My parents? Yes, they got better at it, actually. My dad uses it to do his work for his company and my mom, she uses it to spell things out,” 7th grade student Jomar Baez said.
Now the program is expanding to surrounding cities.
“We have the vision of having all of greater Boston to be the first major metropolitan area in the US to have access to the digital tools that they need,” Hanna said.
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