On December 14th, The Westchester County Association joined community leaders, elected officials, and project partners in a press conference at the Yonkers Public Library to highlight the latest developments since the launch of the Y-Zone, a broadband pilot project funded by US Ignite and Schmidt Futures as part of Project Overcome.
The Y-Zone is a cutting-edge, community-based collaborative which provides free internet service to Yonkers residents.
Alyssa Lee, YPIE Senior, shared the role YPIE students have played in this important community initiative since last summer (see her remarks below). We were very proud to have Alyssa and other YPIE students participate in this press event.
A few links to share:
Pilot Program Offers Free Access to the Internet in Yonkers, Press Release
See Alyssa’s remarks below:
Good Afternoon. My name is Alyssa Lee and I’m a senior at Yonkers Middle High School.
YPIE students have been involved in the Y-Zone since the summer and I joined this fall.
During the summer, a select group of 20 students was involved in collecting data from the Yonkers community about the impact of the digital divide, in areas ranging from education and employment to healthcare. They created surveys, interviewed the community, and shared conclusions from their findings.
This fall, additional YPIE students have been providing technical assistance to members in the community. And, students like myself have been promoting the Y-Zone to other students and families in our community.
Through this experience, I have learned that while is it important to acknowledge the difficulties that communities like Yonkers face when it comes to Internet access, it is equally important to understand their concerns and why these difficulties exist. Trust is an integral part of the relationship between an individual and the community, and without it, it’s almost impossible to destroy the barriers that are put in place.
That’s why the Y-Zone is so important. It gives individuals an opportunity to make real change in their communities.