October 07, 2009, 3:50 PM — SAN DIEGO -- The nation's four largest wireless carriers today announced a joint $1 million contribution today to a program to help bring mobile broadband education to low-income communities.
The contributions from AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA will be donated to One Economy Corp., a Washington-based non-profit organization that seeks to find innovative ways to deliver technology and information to low-income people.
The funds will be used to help fund One Economy's Wireless Digital Connectors program, providing 360 youth, age 14-21, with up to 200 hours of training in wireless technology, including software design and how to safely use wireless technologies while driving.
The program was announced at the International CTIA Wireless conference held here this week.
Once trained, the 360 youth from low-income neighborhoods are each committed to provide at least 56 hours of technology-related community services in their areas. Rey Ramsey, CEO of One Economy, said that the nonprofit has already provided technology trained to about 3,000 youths, who have in turn performed 56,000 hours of community service.
He called the One Economy program, created nine years ago in a basement of a home in Washington, a means of "connecting people to the tools they need to improve their lives through a sustainable, lasting and innovative curriculum focused on mobile technology."
One Economy has programs underway in 10 cities.