On February 12th, 2019, at a San Jose City Hall news conference, Lincoln’s SkillsUSA Computer Science Students, Linda Mimilia (Senior) and Meilyn Wong (Junior), did a fantastic job in advocating for the Digital Inclusion Fund.
The Digital Inclusion Fund is the idea that more people need have access to better internet at home than in public places. The Digital Inclusion fund will be supported revenue of the small cell usage fees paid by telecommunications companies. They made this Fund possible to upgrade broadband networks that are lay the groundwork for 5G in San Jose.
Also, the Digital Inclusion Fund will improve academic performance, increase the number of people who live in San Jose to apply to jobs online, and increase their skills through digital career development programs.
They had an opportunity to tell their stories about digital access and the importance of it. After the event, Meilyn said “We wanted to share that even though we are just high school students, the Digital Inclusion Fund will have a big impact on our future and what we plan to do in our career.”
They both feel that they accomplished their goal of advocating the importance of the greater community having access to the internet. They were able to get the opportunity to discuss how this funding will benefit the many people who will now have access to the internet to help with completing homework assignments that require the use of technology to accessing online services for the elderly.
This funding which is estimated to be around 24 million dollars, will be used to better our Silicon Valley’s access to the digital world through the Digital Inclusion Fund.
“We live in a digital era and its growing and innovating,” Meilyn said. “If we’re able to get exposed to it then we have an upper hand in the tech world. Also, being able to have the knowledge really expands what we know.”
Linda said she believes technology “helps us grow more as a person because it teaches us the professional skills we need.”
Being able to finish your schoolwork at home and not having to go to the library or stay late at school will most likely change someone else’s life. Students can get stressed because they’ll think that they wouldn’t have enough time to finish an assignment that requires the use of tech because they do not have access to internet. Providing free internet for everyone can really be a great opportunity for all people to become tech savvy.
Being able to advocate for something you believe in is empowering. “It is really interesting,” Linda said, “to talk about [digital inclusion] because it might be something you don’t know about and getting exposed to it is like…Wow! We changed something.”
The Mercury News