Life is becoming more digitized, and the speed of digitization is increasing. This trend affects each one of us and our children’s lives. Schools see the opportunities that technology brings to improve education, and technology is rightfully being integrated into the curriculum. However, the students who benefit the most from these programs are those who have regular access to the internet so they can do their assignments online.
Each quarter, we receive many nominations for our Connectivity Hero Awards. The winners selected for the second quarter of 2018 are four individuals whose efforts are helping to bridge the digital divide for young people. These leaders are successful network operators providing business and residential connectivity. In addition to their success in business, each one has seen people in their community who would be left out of the benefits of being connected and has taken action to extend their network to make a difference so that people are not forgotten.
Just as we celebrate technology achievements, we celebrate the compassion of these leaders and share their example of making a positive and lasting change in the lives of young people.
- John Badal of Sacred Wind Communications – Sacred Wind took it upon itself to deliver basic voice and broadband service to remote homes on a Navajo reservation using solar-powered wireless broadband. In some instances, the school-age children of some Navajo families who had been sent to live with relatives while attending school were able to return home once electricity and broadband had been installed.
- Elizabeth Bowles of Aristotle – Located in Arkansas, Aristotle contributes to the ForwARd Arkansas project to provide broadband with the aim to enable students to have connectivity to bridge the “homework divide.” Additional projects include providing connectivity to other unconnected areas.
- Wijaya Kesuma of Life Source – Located in Indonesia, Lifesource connected a senior high school in rural Ranah Batahan so that students can do online examinations, saving them a four-hour trip to the nearest city.
- Daniel Sacchero of Easyweb – Easyweb Digital currently provide Public Wi-Fi to three Alice Springs Town Camp computer rooms which are run and supervised by CAYLUS: Hidden Valley, Karnte and Nyewente. CAYLUS also extend their service to accommodate for personal devices to connect to their Public Wi-Fi. Not only is the integration of Public Wi-Fi beneficial for the connectivity of youths; it allows an entire community to engage with various online platforms such as government services, self-learning and social media. As a result of CAYLUS working with the local community, they have developed the ability to manage and reduce the risks of online trolling and bullying.
While we celebrate these four leaders, we know that there are many others achieving great things with connectivity. Please review our previous winners of the Connectivity Hero Award and nominate someone for a future award.