What happens when high-speed internet access, courtesy of Google Fiber, comes free of charge to the women and children living at the YWCA?
Let the kids tell you, as they did today, with handwritten notes scribbled on a giant poster:
“Thank you, Google. We needed you. You are so asome. You gise are my BFF foever.”
“To: Google. Love ya. Go Jazz. Go Google.
“Thank you Google. Thank you for all the stuff you buy for us and that’s nice of you guys because nobody could do this for us before so thank you.”
Mayor Jackie Biskupski was on hand to celebrate with YWCA clients and staff at the launch of Google Fiber’s Community Connection program in Salt Lake City. By providing free, high-speed internet service to non-profit organizations, Google Fiber helps to empower local communities. The YWCA is the first in Salt Lake City to benefit from this program, and could not be a better fit.
“In this space, where women and children have fled from brutal and isolating relationships, access to this technology will help them build knowledge and create new experiences,” the Mayor said.
“Job and housing searches, communication with school teachers, research, news sources, and even simple and fun escapes from the daily routine like e-books and music will be safely available at the click of a mouse.”
“The YWCA is visionary in its leadership and its demonstrated ability to collaborate with others to achieve maximum results for those at service,” said Jacob Brace, Community Impact Manager for Google Fiber.
More than 225 women and children are part of the YWCA campus on any given day, said Shauna Spencer, Chief Domestic Violence Services Provider for the agency. Children substantially outnumber adults.
“These women and children have experienced the trauma of domestic violence and are working toward healing, independence and violence-free lives. For the children living at the YWCA, access to the internet will help them with school projects, homework, and, perhaps most importantly, they will stay in step with their peers’ technological development,” Shauna said.
And value added: Salt Lake City’s digital divide just got a little narrower.
“Too many people in our City are missing out on the incredible opportunities that come with digital technology,” Mayor Biskupski said. “This brings us one step closer to closing this gap and giving all families an equal opportunity to learn and grow.”
Founded in 1920, the YWCA Utah provides shelter and resources for women and children escaping domestic violence. Through advocacy, education, and community engagement, the YWCA works to help women and children reinvent their lives.
Learn more about the YWCA at www.ywcautah.org.