Teens and the Digital Divide
The Huffington Post recently covered Detroit’s digital ecosystem in an article involving Rocket Fiber’s projects on youth and community. The piece illustrated a teenage perspective of the internet as it relates to education and access.
The article reflected a core belief at Rocket Fiber, stating that: “As technology becomes increasingly essential for achievement and employment tasks, advocates worry Detroit’s digital divide shuts students out of opportunities they desperately need.”
Rocket Fiber has put forth a variety of programs and initiatives designed to combat that challenge. The article introduced readers to our work with the Downtown Youth Boxing Gym—where we have worked with upwards of 100 kids since spring of 2017 to ignite a passion for technology. We have done this by providing equipment and projects focused on connectivity-based technology; creating a comfortable lab-style environment, lovingly called “The Hub.”
Complementing Rocket Fiber’s work at the Downtown Youth Boxing Gym, HuffPost discussed our support of the Digital Stewards Program servicing internet circuits to several locations for Allied Media Projects’ Equitable Internet Initiative—that gives Detroiters the opportunity to become familiar with internet technology and create community networks where high quality internet access has lagged.
But understanding the root of the issue is key, and the HuffPost agrees. Rocket Fiber sees that the lessons of the digital divide ought to be explored and shared with partners and stakeholders in Detroit and beyond. Through the release of the Michigan State University Quello Center’s recent study, entitled “Broadband to the Neighborhood,” we partnered to have 525 Detroiters interviewed and involved in focus groups, intending for the nuance of the digital divide to be recognized. Our hope is that there will be a heightened awareness to inform decisions makers and community members after exposure to the public study.
We are continually committed to providing a great internet experience for all and remain passionate about innovating in the city we serve.
Read the full article here.