The online enterprise iFoster, a non-profit which provides discounted resources to foster youth and caregivers, received a $300,000 technology grant today, expanding the number of children and youth who will have access to computers.
The grant from California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) will allow iFoster to provide 75,000 low-cost computing devices and 4,500 affordable broadband connections to youth and families in the foster care system. Computers are priced from $120-$250, and broadband Internet service from $9.95 to $20 per month.
“Broadband is a transforming technology that is essential to help foster youth build better lives,” said Sunne Wright McPeak, CEO of CETF, in a press release. “With this grant, children in foster care, emancipated youth and their families will benefit from access to affordable Internet service and computers. We support iFoster in finding innovative ways to help this community connect online with each other, and to public- and private-sector services.”
iFoster will start implementing the grant in Los Angeles, Santa Clara, and Contra Costa counties, and expand from there.
“May is Foster Care Month, and we are thrilled that with the support of CETF we are able to expand our affordable technology programs to more of California’s children and youth in foster care and their caregivers,” said Serita Cox, co-founder of iFoster, in a press release.
“We believe that technology is an equalizing force in society, but tragically our most vulnerable children and youth, those in foster care, do not have access to computers or the Internet,” she explained.
Comcast announced a similar venture for low-income families last year. Its philanthropic program, Internet Essentials, offers the guarantee of $9.95 a month Internet broadband service, and families that sign up for a computer receive a voucher that they can then use to purchase a computer of their own for $149.95.
The program is available to any family with a child living in the home who qualifies for free lunches under the Department of Agriculture’s National School Lunch Program.
For more information about iFoster, visit their website.