The Medgar Evers College (MEC) Educational Foundation received a $25,000 grant from the broadband cable company Spectrum last week. 

The Spectrum Digital Education Grant will be used to purchase laptops for incoming MEC freshmen students at the school and toward tutoring in its Academic Support Center.

SEEK is a New York State-funded program designed to meet the needs of students from low-income households and disadvantaged neighborhoods or schools that have underprepared them for college. The program is offered at senior (four-year) City University of New York colleges to New York State residents who do not meet traditional admissions criteria but demonstrate potential for academic success.

The check presentation event took place on May 4 during the college’s Percy Ellis Sutton Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK) annual awards ceremony. 

“With the $25,000, Spectrum will be donating to our SEEK program. Laptops will be purchased for 65 students, enabling them to fulfill their potential while pursuing their degrees,” said MEC President Dr. Patricia Ramsey. “Up to this point, these young people have had to resort to doing schoolwork and homework on their phones, due to their inability to afford their own computers. This grant goes a long way in bridging the digital divide.”

For the SEEK program alone, about 20% to 30% of freshmen have their own devices, a MEC spokesperson said. “Some students rely on their phones, others have borrowed laptops or iPads from the college’s laptop loaner program, and the others complete their work on computers in the library or computer labs on campus,” the spokesperson added.

The grant is part of the company’s six-year, $8 million commitment to promote digital education and broadband technology in communities across the country. The Medgar Evers College Educational Foundation is one of two New York City recipients of the Spectrum Digital Education Grant program. The Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation also received a grant.“Digital skills are critical to navigating everything from finding a job to going to school, to buying groceries––yet too many families still have not adopted internet at home,” said Rahman Khan, group vice president of community impact for Charter Communications, Inc., which operates the Spectrum brand of internet, mobile, TV, and voice services. “Through the Spectrum Digital Education Grant program, we’re committed to supporting local initiatives like [the] Medgar Evers College Educational Foundation to promote digital literacy and inclusion, and help educate community members in New York City about the value of adopting broadband in their lives so they can succeed in today’s connected society.”

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