The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed far-reaching inequities in American life; among them is the lack of access many under-privledged students have to an online and supposedly ‘public’ education. Now, the Brooklyn Nets, in partnership with Motorola and Verizon, is moving to change this, donating fifty smartphones to New York City high school seniors in temporary housing.
“With this phone donation, we are ensuring that students from temporary housing can begin on equal footing with their peers as they pursue higher education or their careers,” said Mandy Gutmann, Senior Vice President of Community Relations and Communications at BSE Global. BSE Global is the company that manages Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets.
A portion of the fifty graduating seniors were from S.I.M.B.A. (“Safe In My Brother’s Arms”) and A.S.E.T. (“All Sisters Evolving Together”) two Department of Education programs committed to helping New York City high school students who live in temporary housing. Of the 1,500 members of this year’s graduating class, 100% have received offers to attend college.
“Watching them as they advance through high school is an enlightening journey and I am always amazed at how they navigate handling their studies, while dealing with the impact of homelessness,” said Christopher Moncrief, S.I.M.B.A./ A.S.E.T. program coordinator.
The smartphones – moto x4’s – are each under a two-year unlimited data plan, provided by Verizon.
“This past year has shown everyone how important connection is,” said Yvette Martinez–Rea, Verizon’s Vice President of Sponsorships and Partnerships. “We’re proud to partner with the Brooklyn Nets and Motorola on this initiative.”