January 13, 2024
We at Esperanza Inc, a Cleveland based Spanish non profit organization specializing in helping Spanish and Latino students in Northeast Ohio succeed, welcome you to our Access Center, as a part of the Adult Learning Program. You can visit us to learn about our programs and services. We are here to support our community with our educational and professional development programs, at no cost.
This Latino Center was provided by AT&T, as part of their $2 billion commitment to address the digital divide. This Connected Learning Center aims to provide internet access and education tools to those who face connectivity barriers vital to their long-term success.
“This Connected Learning Center is an important and welcome addition in the neighborhood,” said Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, pictured to the right at the launch event giving a speech.
“We’ve seen how important digital connectivity is during the pandemic, when kids had to go online to learn. For adults, this is how you look for a job or send out a resume. Members of our families can only take advantage of tele-health visits with their doctor if they are online and connected. This center brings that connectivity to more of the people in Cleveland’s urban core, and I thank Esperanza and AT&T for supporting this community.”
With 14 Dell PCs equipped with a range of software, the AT&T-Esperanza partnership aims to not just bolster aspirations, but add ammunition to one of Cleveland’s sorest setbacks—fixing its digital divide.
“Through this collaboration with AT&T, we’re able to provide essential connectivity and digital resources to some of our most vulnerable students and families,” said Victor Ruiz, executive director, Esperanza.
“The AT&T Connected Learning Center will give our families access to high-speed internet connectivity, computers, digital tools and educational content to help them participate in virtual learning, apply for jobs and set them up for socioeconomic success in the future.”
In the digital age, internet access is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. For students, it’s the gateway to a world of educational resources, communication tools, and opportunities that can shape their future. This is especially true for Hispanic students in Cleveland, Ohio, a community where the digital divide can exacerbate existing educational inequalities.
1. Closing the Achievement Gap: Studies have shown that access to the internet at home correlates with higher academic achievement across all demographics. This is even more crucial for Hispanic students, who historically face lower graduation rates and standardized test scores. With reliable internet access, students can access online learning platforms, research databases, and educational apps that cater to diverse learning styles. This empowers them to delve deeper into subjects, fill in knowledge gaps, and prepare for standardized tests, ultimately bridging the achievement gap.
2. Fostering Cultural Connection and Identity: For Hispanic students, the internet provides a vital link to their cultural heritage and global community. They can connect with family and friends back home, access Spanish-language media, and explore the rich tapestry of Hispanic culture online. This fosters a sense of belonging, strengthens their cultural identity, and provides a valuable source of motivation and inspiration in their academic pursuits.
3. Expanding Career Horizons: The internet opens doors to a vast array of career opportunities, particularly in today’s technology-driven world. For Hispanic students, who are often underrepresented in STEM fields, online resources can expose them to exciting career paths and connect them with mentors and role models. They can explore virtual career fairs, take online courses in coding or robotics, and even participate in internships remotely, gaining valuable skills and experience that can propel them towards successful careers.
4. Bridging the Socioeconomic Gap: Lack of internet access at home often coincides with lower socioeconomic status. In Cleveland, this can trap Hispanic students in a cycle of limited opportunities and resources. By providing students with free or subsidized internet access, schools can level the playing field and ensure that all students, regardless of their background, have the tools they need to succeed.
5. Promoting Civic Engagement and Social Change: The internet is a powerful platform for civic engagement and social change. Hispanic students can use online tools to connect with local organizations, learn about community issues, and advocate for causes they care about. This empowers them to become active citizens, contribute to their community, and work towards a more just and equitable society.
Investing in internet access for Hispanic students in Cleveland schools is not just about technology; it’s about equity, opportunity, and empowering the next generation to reach their full potential. By bridging the digital divide, we can unlock a brighter future for these students and pave the way for a more inclusive and prosperous community.
If you are interested in visiting our Hispanic Center, we invite you to call (216) 651-7178, or use the website to Contact Us at your convenience.