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May 7, 2020

NTEN Digital Inclusion Fellowships Applications Open Now

  • , community impact

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Earlier this week, our partner, NTEN launched applications for its sixth cohort of Digital Inclusion Fellows. The Fellowship program supports organizations serving communities impacted by the digital divide and who want to launch or expand digital literacy programs. In this time of social distancing and the urgent need to get more of our neighbors online, the program can be a resource to more organizations than we ever imagined when we first started.

Google Fiber is proud to have co-founded this program with NTEN in 2015. We’ve sponsored 68 Fellows over the first five years, driving meaningful work to address digital equity in their communities and establishing themselves as national leaders. Google Fiber-sponsored Fellows have provided almost 80,000 training hours for nearly 20,000 people across the country. They’ve built a legion of 1,200 expert volunteers who can help their neighbors navigate technology when they need a guiding hand.

There is a lot to share about past Fellows and the digital inclusion projects they’ve led — here are just a few examples from past cohorts:

  • Krysti Nellermoe (Cohort 5), at the International Rescue Committee in Salt Lake City, developed new systems to expand digital services at every point of the refugee experience. Resources included integrated skills training in job readiness and financial literacy programs for new arrivals to the United States, as well as business development and entrepreneurship workshops for those who have been in the country longer. She also established a Tech Mentor program, which provided new devices and in-home training for participants, and a series of Citizenship and Digital Safety workshops for teens. The IRC also hired a full-time digital inclusion coordinator over the last year, which great increased the reach of the program.
  • Emily Flores (Cohort 5), at the San Antonio Public Library, launched a Digital Inclusion Certification program, providing training in computer basics, job seeking skills, social media, and professional administrative skills in both English and Spanish.
  • Lindsey Sipe (Cohort 4), at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, developed Project LIFT, a six-week technology course where families each received 12 hours of digital literacy training and received a laptop and hotspot at the end of the course. Over 300 families have completed the course to date.

In the age of COVID-19, every organization -- from schools and clinics to churches and nonprofits -- needs a digital inclusion plan and dedicated resources to help underserved clients get online and support the building of their digital skills. The NTEN Digital Inclusion Fellowship is just one way Google Fiber is working to increase the reach and impact of these vital efforts. Thank you for helping us spread the word and encourage applications for the next cohort of the program.

Posted by Parisa Fatehi-Weeks, Head of Equity, Inclusion and Community Impact