Spectrum on March 4 announced that the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center (ESGVJCC) has received a $10,000 Spectrum Digital Education Grant for digital literacy training for older adults and seniors, as part of the company’s multi-year, $6 million cash and in-kind national commitment to digital education in Spectrum communities across the country.
The company doubled its original 2020 commitment to digital education, awarding a total of $1 million to 47 organizations providing broadband education, technology and training.
“We thank the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center for being instrumental in helping us provide support for digital education in the Los Angeles community,” said Rahman Khan, vice president of community impact for Charter Communications, Inc., which operates the Spectrum brand of TV, Internet, voice and mobile products. “Through the community center we can continue to provide those in need with the resources to navigate the challenges of the digital age.”
Spectrum presented the $10,000 grant to the organization at a free drive-thru food distribution event held on March 3. State Sen. Susan Rubio, Assemblymember Blanca Rubio and the Office of Supervisor Hilda Solis also participated in the celebration.
The East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center, a nonprofit organization based in West Covina, is dedicated to fostering and preserving the cultural heritage unique to Japanese American ancestry and serving the community through social services, artistic, recreational and educational programs. The funding will support the community center’s DISKovery Center Computer Lab, which provides digital literacy training for older adults and seniors.
“The East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center would like to thank Spectrum for awarding us the Digital Education Grant,” said Pearl Omiya, ESGVJCC executive director. “Through this funding opportunity, we are able to support our seniors through virtual computer literacy courses and workshops, weekly Zoom meetings for our Senior Wellness Program, as well as provide a HELP desk where all of their questions on how to navigate new apps and programs can be answered.
“In addition, we now have the capability to meet the broadband demands needed to conduct all of our new programming virtually. As our need for technology has increased through this pandemic, so has our need to connect to others. Through the support of Spectrum, the ESGVJCC is so fortunate to help our seniors connect to their friends and family.”
“Congratulations to the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center on being awarded a Spectrum Digital Education Grant in support of their digital literacy program for seniors,” said Sen. Rubio. “Now more than ever, while so many people are isolated in their homes, connecting older adults to technology and online resources is crucial to accessing essential services and communicating with family and friends. Thank you Spectrum for championing organizations like the Japanese Community Center and other digital education programs.”
“I applaud Spectrum for their commitment to addressing digital and broadband inequality in our communities with their digital education grant program,” said Assemblymember Rubio. “Their support allows organizations such as the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center to continue the important work of improving the quality of life for so many seniors and families in our community.”
“For decades, the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center has served local families and seniors with valuable classes, programs and events, helping to preserve the rich Japanese American culture for future generations,” said Supervisor Solis. “We commend Spectrum for supporting the ESGVJCC with a Spectrum Digital Education Grant and working towards bridging the digital divide.”
With this year’s grants, Spectrum has surpassed its multi-year commitment to award $6 million in cash and in-kind donations to support broadband education across the company’s 41-state service area. This year’s recipients are from 15 states and Washington, D.C., and were chosen from 259 eligible applications. Recipients include nonprofits working to empower disadvantaged residents in towns and cities, boost small businesses in rural areas, provide computer assistance to senior citizens, and organizations that meet educational needs for children — including those experiencing homelessness and remote learning challenges.
Since its inception in 2017 through July 2020, Spectrum Digital Education has benefitted more than 41,000 individuals in 17 states and Washington, D.C.
Spectrum Digital Education is one of several philanthropic programs developed by Charter to support the communities in which Charter provides service and where its employees both live and work. Additionally, Spectrum Housing Assist, launched in 2015 to make homes safer and healthier, has surpassed its goal of improving more than 50,000 homes by the end of 2020. Charter’s Spectrum Employee Community Grants program, launched in 2019 to support employees’ volunteer activities at local social and human services organizations, has already impacted more than 175 critical services organizations across 25 states.
This year, Charter announced the launch of the Spectrum Community Investment Loan Fund, which will invest $10 million in capital by the end of 2021, making loans up to $1 million to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) in the company’s footprint. In June, Charter announced additional investment partnerships with the National Urban League and National Action Network to support Black and other minority-owned small businesses. The addition of those partnerships increased Charter’s Loan Fund commitment to $13 million.
Finally, this spring, Charter introduced Spectrum Scholars, a two-year educational program for eligible rising juniors in financial need, that will award a total of $400,000 in scholarship aid, provide company mentors for students, as well as connecting them with potential internship opportunities at Charter.