Comcast is kicking off its initiative to donate $200,000 in grants, and 3,000 DELL Latitude 3190 laptops to multiple organizations in the Baltimore metro area. Through this effort, $30,000 in funding and 100 laptops are going to Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC).
CCBC is the first of nine organizations to announce how it intends to distribute the donations from Comcast to bridge the digital divide that leaves one in five Maryland homes without a laptop or desktop computer.
The $30,000 will go to the school’s Student Emergency Aid Fund, where CCBC students apply for one-time use funds to pay for rent or bills. The 100 laptops are allocated to CCBC certificate and adult literacy education programs, including Grads2careers, Out of School Youth (LEAP), Veterans – VRRAP (Veterans Rapid Retraining Assistance Program) and the Center for Adult and Family Literacy. These house GED and adult basic education programs.
“We are very excited and thankful for the laptops and $30,000 for our student emergency relief fund. We know some of our students need assistance to be successful,” said Louise Slezak, Dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development. “The student emergency relief will assist with transportation, rent, food, utilities, counseling and other human services when they are struggling. In addition, CCBC has Success Navigators and they serve as the first stop for students in need of human services assistance. Their role is to assess students’ needs and help secure appropriate referrals so students can receive timely help.”
This is the breakdown of the 100 laptops to the programs that regularly service about a 1,300 people a year according to Slezak.
- 20 – Grads2careers
- 30 – Out of School Youth (LEAP)
- 15 – Veterans – VRRAP (Veterans Rapid Retraining Assistance Program)
- 35 – Center for Adult and Family Literacy (ABE/GED)
“With free and low-cost internet available to every Baltimorean, we need to collectively focus on driving broadband adoption by ensuring everyone has the know-how and tools to get online,” said Michael Parker, senior vice president for Comcast’s Beltway Region. “Education at every level is critical and our workforce development grants and laptop donations will help ensure that adults entering the workforce have the tools, skills and confidence to find employment and succeed.”
Comcast intends to donate to nine Baltimore organizations in total. Here are the other eight:
- Mayor’s Office of Employment Development
- Community College of Baltimore County
- Baltimore City Community College
- Baltimore’s Promise
- Catholic Charities of Baltimore
- Center for Urban Families
- Grassrootz (Gro-Charity)
- Liberty Rec and Tech Center
- Digital Harbor High School
Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.