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November 21, 2023

Kramden Institute Interns- Bridging the digital divide.

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Since 2016, Google Fiber has partnered with Kramden Institute in Durham, North Carolina to address digital equity needs in the state. Kramden is a digital inclusion nonprofit with a mission to provide technology tools and training to bridge the digital divide. The digital divide is the gap between those who have affordable access, skills and support to effectively engage online, and those who do not. For the past seven years, GFiber has supported Kramden’s work, funding computer distributions and digital skills training for economically disadvantaged individuals across the state.

In 2022, GFiber’s donation was directed towards stipends for internship positions at Kramden. Nadel Comper was the first intern who received a stipend supported by GFiber’s donation, who joined the team in February 2022. She was ultimately hired as a permanent member of the Kramden team and is now the organization’s Lead Technician. Nadel shares her intern experience:

As a part of my Applied Science degree work study requirement at Wake Tech Community College, I participated in the Kramden Institute internship program, funded by GFiber. The program director suggested Kramden Institute as a great opportunity to gain practical work experience. I researched Kramden and immediately knew it would be the perfect fit.

I enjoyed my internship at Kramden Institute from day one. Since my focus was tech support, I wanted to learn how to troubleshoot and repair devices, the process involved in data transfer, and get experience doing support calls. I got all the above and more.

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My favorite part was helping the education team with digital literacy classes and clubs. Meeting and helping some of the people who directly benefited from Kramden’s mission, really put into perspective how important it is for people to have access to a computer and computer training. I hear all the time from Kramden recipients how they have used the devices we provide to get new jobs, learn new skills, further their education, or help their children in school.

Recently a woman who participated in our digital literacy class had transportation difficulties and needed assistance getting a computer and setting up her Wi-Fi connection. She had previously never owned a computer, and would have been at risk of losing her job. I was glad Kramden was able to provide her with a computer and I was able to assist her to work remotely. Parents have also shared with me how computers provided by Kramden have allowed their children to have access to digital resources, and participate in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related activities at school- especially during the pandemic.

Now that I work full-time at Kramden Institute as a lead technician, I still get opportunities to work closely with other Kramden interns. I often get feedback from new interns about their experience- each person stating having learned something unique from the internship. One intern who works with our technology manager (who was tasked recently with making changes to how we deploy new devices through our server management), had a great opportunity to learn a little more about server management and deployment, and even inventory management from him.

With the continued growth of Kramden Institute and support from GFiber towards bridging the digital divide, we added two program interns in 2023 who assist our Education team with data entry and computer distribution.

I am grateful to GFiber for assisting me with the opportunity to further my education and experience. I learned a lot during my time as an intern- this set the stage for a bright rewarding career.

Posted by Nadel Comper, Lead Technician