Verizon Celebrates 10 Years Of Giving Back To Students With Powerful Firsthand Testimonies

Low-income students openly share how Verizon’s technology has enabled them to achieve more.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Verizon Innovative Learning, a program that provides Title I schools with free technology and curriculum, the telecom giant is putting the spotlight on hard-hit students.

The new campaign gives a voice to four students impacted by the program – each sharing how Verizon shaped their educational experience and inspired their plans for the future.

Minu Patel, one of the first students to enroll in the Verizon Innovative Learning program through her school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is an aspiring tech professional and senior at Temple University majoring in information science and technology. “My journey into technology really began with my experience at Verizon Innovative Learning,” Patel said in a statement. “As part of the program throughout junior high, I not only learned about STEM and the possibilities of technology, but also about discipline, leadership and accountability. I am now mentoring young girls as I pursue a career in tech because I know firsthand the difference learning to believe in yourself can make.”

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The new campaign features first-hand accounts from Patel and three other students, including a community activist, an aspiring engineer and a content creator.

Even before the pandemic, nearly 15% of US children under the age of 18 were living in poverty, according to data from the nonpartisan political group Center for American Progress. And as Covid and its aftermath exacerbated economic inequalities in the US, millions of young people in the US suffered the most. As part of the problem, millions of young people in the US have limited access to modern technology – inhibiting their ability to succeed academically.

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Verizon has long made being a responsible company a priority, which includes commitments for the telco to address barriers to technology access for underserved communities and improve digital equity. In particular, the company aims to teach digital skills to 10 million young people by 2030. Thanks to Verizon Innovative Learning, it’s on the right track. Working with a variety of nonprofit partners, the program has helped provide $1 billion in free Internet access, technology and educational resources to Title I schools across the United States over the past decade.

Starting today, the campaign, which includes a unique spot for each of the four students in the spotlight, will be broadcast on television and a range of digital and social channels. Two of the featured students will take the stage on September 24th in New York City at the Global Citizen Festival, where they will share their stories.

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During the 2022-2023 school year, Verizon will expand its Verizon Innovative Learning program to 561 new Title I middle and high schools across the country.

The company is also launching a new free online education portal for educators called Verizon Innovative Learning HQ. Through the portal, teachers can access STEM lesson plans, professional development resources, and more.

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