Philadelphia –Thirty-four Philadelphia participants from Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. received computers last weekend through a partnership with Comp-U-Dopt to help bridge the digital divide.
A national nonprofit in 32 states and the District of Columbia, YAP provides community-based alternatives to youth incarceration, out-of-home congregate care and neighborhood violence. YAP serves more than 100 Philadelphia youth through community-based alternative-to-youth justice and detention services, school-based early intervention, and substance use and violence prevention programs.
Comp-U-Dopt, a nonprofit with a mission to provide technology access and education, partnered with Dynegy, the Urban League, and the City of Philadelphia, to collect and provide 250 free reconditioned computers for distribution to Philadelphia underserved communities this past weekend. YAP program participants are among the individuals and families receiving the devices. Comp-U-Dopt has a goal of collecting, refurbishing, and distributing 1,000 computers to families in Philadelphia by the end of March.
“I would like to thank everyone who played a part in building this partnership with Comp-U-Dopt,” YAP Philadelphia Director Tawaina Reed said. “Especially during these challenging times, while so many families are experiencing financial difficulties.”
Reed along with other staff members helped oversee the citywide laptop distribution event on Dec. 10-11 in the YAP Philadelphia parking lot on W. Jefferson Street. Additionally, Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, Inc. (APM), a Latino non-profit organization in Philadelphia, also was in attendance and received four laptops for their program participants.
“During these challenging times, while so many families are experiencing financial difficulties, (Comp-U-Dopt) truly blessed many families by awarding them with laptops,” Reed said. “This was an awesome experience, and we were truly honored to be the bridge that led them to their blessing.”
Comp-U-Dopt CEO Megan Steckly said the partnership with YAP was critical to the success of launching their work in Philadelphia.
“These devices are so much more than just computers,” Steckly said. “For many families these devices are the connection to a wealth of content, knowledge, and support that is otherwise beyond reach. It’s only through collaboration and partnership that we can solve the digital divide and truly come together.”
According to Comp-U-Dopt, the digital divide deepened during the pandemic when many students and families stayed home. According to the Pew Research Institute, 41% of low-income families lack access to a computer at home and census data points to approximately 13 million families across the United States facing the same challenge.
“It’s such a wonderful opportunity to partner with Comp-U-Dopt to help our families receive computers, but also to provide a location for other neighbors of our YAP Offices to receive computers to help their kids and families,” YAP’s Chief of Philanthropic Engagement Jessica Stadt. “YAP has always been and always will be proud to collaborate with others to bring opportunities to families across the US.”
For more information about YAP, visit www.YAPInc.org. Follow the organization on Twitter @YAPInc.