ConnectME

$1,970 of $36,000 goal

Raised by 31 people in 22 months
Kern Shahi
on behalf of Elaina Verveer
 LAFAYETTE, CO
“Without the Internet at home, I am behind in school. I’m scared that I won’t be able to catch up.”
-Lafayette high school senior

According to the 2013 Census, one in four Americans does not have Internet access at home; those with the lowest medium income rates are most affected. Closing the “digital divide” is essential to ensuring that all is benefitting from the same pool of economic and social resources. This is particularly important for young people. Seven out ten K-12 teachers currently assign homework that requires online resources; those without broadband are unable to complete them, putting them at a significant disadvantage ( http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/technology/fcc-internet-access-school.html?_r=0). This page has been created to support low-income students in Lafayette, Colorado. One hundred percent of funding generated through this site will be used to provide them and their families with free Internet access at home.

My introduction- Why are we doing this project?
My name is Kern Shahi and I am a recent graduate of  the University of Colorado Boulder, where I earned a degree in Information Systems and Finance and was one of 15 Puksta Scholars.  As part of the scholarship program, I developed a proposal to close the “digital divide” in Lafayette, where I attended public school. 

I feel obligated to support a community that has supported me.  My current focus is to provide low-income households within Boulder County, particularly Lafayette with free Internet. 

Current Partners
I am honored to have received support from multiple individuals and organizations.  I am currrently partnering with two agencies to implement ConnectME:

Serving as my fiscal sponsor, the Empowerment Center of East County is a Lafayette-based, youth leadership nonprofit that seeks to cultivate the inherent capacities of young people through the arts and service-learning. For more information, visit www.EmpowermentCenterEastCounty.org

Comcast’s Internet Essentials program provides Internet services to low-income households at a discounted rate of $9.95 a month; funding generated through this campaign would cover these fees.  For more information, see  https://www.internetessentials.com/ 
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Hello ConnectMe Donors!

Thank you so much for donating to ConnectMe, which seeks to provide hundreds of Lafayette low-income families with free Internet service.

Much has taken place since ConnectMe was launched in the spring. The campaign has been featured in multiple print and online publications, including the Daily Camera ( http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-schools/ci_29845952/cu-boulder-student-leading-project-increase-internet-access) and CU Today ( http://www.colorado.edu/today/2016/05/20/puksta-scholar-bridges-lafayettes-digital-divide). A ballot initiative calling for a voter approved exemption from SB 152, which prohibits local governments from providing high speed internet (and other telecommunication services) unless such services are authorized by the electorate, has also been added to the Lafayette ballot. Should the initiative pass, Lafayette could assess current broadband services to determine how to better support residents. This would significantly aid the project.

I am also continuing to work with the Boulder Valley School District’s Division of Information Technology and Lafayette nonprofit community.

To help us reach my goal to raise $25,000 and close the gap of the digital divide in Lafayette, I am requesting that you please share this Facebook page with five friends. You are also encouraged to post this link to your social media accounts.

Thank you again for donating to this cause!

Sincerely,
Kern Shahi
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$1,970 of $36,000 goal

Raised by 31 people in 22 months
Created April 9, 2016
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