Right now, over 15 million students do not have reliable internet access in America. One subset of those students, foster youth, are challenged with disproportionate disparities alongside the #DigitalDivide. When reliable internet access is ingrained in our modern lives and is a requisite for attending public school, we (as a society, not as individuals) are locking our children out of the school house.
This week, we are joined by Serita Cox, founder of iFoster.org, Rochelle Trochtenberg, MSW, the first former foster youth to be appointed to serve as the California Foster Care Ombudsperson, and Jeszabel Millan, a former foster youth, now advocate. iFoster is a national nonprofit with over 40,000 members across all 50 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. iFoster is fighting to ensure every child growing up outside of their biological home has the resources and opportunities they need to be successful, independent adults.
As of right now, over 15 million youth are without reliable internet access. Too many students are without devices, and too many lack both the internet and a device. We expect students to attend classes online, learn, and thrive. However, how can we do so when they are being locked out of the online school house?
Unfortunately, the digital divide also impacts foster kids in disproportionate ways. Foster youth rely on devices and reliable internet access for more than school; they need internet services to connect to their families, seek mental and emotional support and wellness, and represent themselves in court.
Foster youth need reliable internet access. Their needs extend beyond schooling, and we are failing them. Access to reliable internet and devices are lifelines for foster youth to stay connected to vital relationships.
IFoster has been actively responding to foster youth needs during this pandemic. They conducted a needs assessment, and immediately responded to short term and long terms needs.
If you would like to take action, consider donating to iFoster today.
If you would like to engage in ongoing #InternetForALL actions, please reach out to your local elected and congressional representatives.
To find who your Senator and Assembly Members are, click here.
If you would like to add your voice, share and sign this petition: https://www.change.org/InternetForAllKids
What do you think? Let us know and share the video with your networks.
#InternetForAll #DigitalInclusion #DigitalDivide #AllStudentsNeedInternet
Don’t miss the next episode of “Access Denied” on our Facebook Live next Friday, September 18th, at 9AM Pacific Time/12 noon Eastern Standard Time.