Compudopt, Santander Consumer USA Announce $7M Investment To Close The Digital Divide In Mesa
The national technology nonprofit, with support from community leaders, will provide computers, low-cost internet solutions and digital skill building resources to thousands of Mesa residents.
(MESA, Ariz. – May 24, 2023) – Compudopt, a national nonprofit providing technology access and education to under-resourced youth and their communities, today announced its expansion to Mesa, Ariz., where it will work to close the digital divide. The nonprofit’s local presence is made possible in part by a $7M donation from Santander Consumer USA and will be in partnership with the City of Mesa, Mesa Public Schools, and Motorola Solutions. The Santander Consumer USA contribution is funded through the Santander Consumer USA Inc. Foundation.
Over the next two years, Compudopt and its community partners will:
- Provide 7,500 no-cost computers to eligible families
- Offer digital skill building to over 24,000 individuals
- Deliver workforce-aligned technology after-school education programs to 300 youth in Mesa and surrounding communities
- Help connect 10,000 households to free or low-cost internet through private broadband, provided by Motorola Solutions’ Nitro solution.
“As of 2021, more than 25,000 local households did not have an in-home computer. At Compudopt, we believe that access to technology is the foundation for education and economic mobility, so we’re thrilled to bring our work to Mesa,” said Megan Steckly, CEO of Compudopt. “Our work with Santander Consumer USA Foundation, the City of Mesa, Mesa Public Schools and Motorola Solutions will offer more community members access to reliable technology, affordable internet and digital literacy.”
Currently, more than 14 million households across the U.S. lack access to reliable technology and internet at home, which has both immediate and sustained impact, with the COVID-19 pandemic widening this digital gap. Pew Research Center reports that 59% of lower income parents say their child may face digital obstacles in schoolwork, including having to work from a cellphone, use public Wi-Fi or not complete work due to lack of resources.
Motorola Solutions’ Nitro solution will extend the city’s network into the homes of Mesa residents who do not have reliable internet and provide a strong connection and capacity for students to complete their schoolwork, apply to colleges and for families to conduct telehealth visits, apply to jobs and more.
“As a company whose purpose is to help our customers prosper and improve their overall financial well-being, we understand the importance that access to reliable technology has in achieving these goals and changing lives,” said Dr. Virnitia Dixon, Santander US Chief Diversity Officer. “While many of us may take this access for granted, we need to ensure our communities are equipped with the knowledge and resources to thrive in today’s digital world.”
Through collaboration with Mesa Public Schools and the City of Mesa, Compudopt will cater its after-school programs and self-paced, digital skill building courses to the needs of the Mesa region.
To kick off its Mesa expansion, Compudopt hosted a drive-through computer distribution event for 150 graduating high school seniors on May 24 at Santander Consumer (1550 W Southern Ave). Families interested in entering the lottery for future computer drives can register for a chance to be selected at at www.compudopt.org/mesa.