Following the rewarding experience that took place last year for Project Innovations LA participating families, PILA launched their Digital Literacy Workshops in partnership with the nonprofit organization, EveryoneOn once again this summer. EveryoneOn is on a mission to provide affordable access to high-speed internet, devices, and digital literacy skills training to low-income families who want to succeed and thrive in today’s digital economy. Through PILA x EveryoneOn’s partnership, we seek to bridge the digital divide in the communities we serve.
This year a total of 45 PILA program participants will have the opportunity to receive six weeks of free digital literacy skills training, a personal Chromebook, electronic and printed curriculum materials, and one-on-one assistance to enroll in affordable internet services. The first cohort which kicked off in August had a total of 12 PILA participants from three zip codes within Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis’ Supervisorial District 1, specifically 90015, 90017 and 90057 which encompass neighborhoods in Pico-Union, Downtown, Westlake MacArthur Park and Rampart Village.
Upon reflecting on the 6-week digital literacy workshops, one participant, Patty commented, “My experience was wonderful. My instructor had immense patience and passion and provided step-by-step explanations…I used to only access the internet on my phone or through my daughter’s or son’s computers, but now that I have my own computer, it is a lot easier to join meetings and programs on my own. I am also happy that I can be a resource to my friends with the new skills I learned.”
The two-hour weekly courses cover topics like how to navigate Google Chrome and Zoom, make internet searches, create bookmarks, an introduction to Google Docs and Google Sheets, and more. Speaking to the impact, a fellow participant, Yesica shared, “This workshop taught me how to open emails, save documents, organize files in chronological order, and even categorize them in different colors. I also learned how to save photos, which I didn’t know how to do before taking the class. I now teach my coworkers what I learned because these skills help me day to day at work and make my work easier because I can organize better. I also learned how to use Zoom and can better explain to my parents who also want to learn.”
As additional funds were made available through a new grant, EveryoneOn extended their capacity for PILA to recruit Neighborhood Leadership Group (NLG) participants from all LA County zip codes for the next two cohorts. Each of the 2 subsequent cohorts will have 17 participants and are scheduled to commence in November 2022.
Genesis Rosa, PILA’s program manager, commented on the expanded continuation of the partnership, “It was with great excitement that we have debuted the grand news to community partners and community member representatives… We hope to continue this partnership as it has been a rewarding and life-changing experience for many community members.”
The 34 participants for the next 2 cohorts were invited to pick up their Chromebooks and materials at a distribution event held at the beginning of the month out of the Para Los Niños’s Westmoreland office. There, staff from PILA, EveryoneOn, and Union Bank greeted and helped individuals with programming their computers in preparation for the workshops to ensure accessibility and connection.
Dionicia Cipres, a PILA member and participant of the newest cohort, expressed what she most looked forward to learning in the digital literacy class: “I would like to learn how to use social media, how to navigate and use the internet well, and learn how to create a resume. If there is a job opportunity that interests me, I would have an advantage knowing how to use the computer and having access to more knowledge.”
Partnerships like this give us hope that digital literacy –and the empowerment that comes with it- can be an accessible reality for all communities.