Christine Nieves, Senior Vice President of Development at Esperanza, welcomed all the attendees at a press conference held in Esperanza's atrium and shared the importance of digital equity in the communities. (Photo: Esperanza Staff)

«Starting November 2023, residents of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties will be able to dial 2-1-1 to receive digital support from trained & trusted community partners.» Comcast

Philadelphia, PA-. In a joint effort to enhance digital access, Comcast and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey has embarked on a collaborative initiative and partnership.

On October 4th Christine Nieves, Senior Vice President of Development at Esperanza, welcomed all the attendees at a press conference held in Esperanza’s atrium, shared the importance of digital equity in our communities, and introduced Stephanie Kosta, Vice President of Government Affairs – Freedom Region at Comcast, who announced the expansion of an innovative Digital Navigator Network serving Philadelphia residents. 

Digital Navigators are trusted individuals who work at community organizations to help people sign up for internet services and learn digital skills to address the barriers that prevent them from getting online.

Some members of the network organizations bringing the digital skills program to their neighborhoods, Comcast, and United Way leaders announced their commitment to them. ( Photo: Esperanza Staff)

Some of the network organizations are ACLAMO, Beyond Literacy, Chester Education Foundation, Drexel ExCITe Center, Esperanza, Literacy Council of Norristown, Media Fellowship House, SEAMMAC, and they will host educational events, raise awareness, share resources, and key learnings with each other to better address the needs of the community.

The service expansion is supported by a $317,000 grant from Comcast that is part of Project UP (a comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help build a future of unlimited possibilities); the company is a $1 billion commitment to advance digital equity. To celebrate Digital Inclusion Week, Comcast donated 50 laptops each, 400 in total, to the eight nonprofit community organizations that are part of this network to support their digital navigation work.  

Esperanza Hope digital skills students received a new laptop that will help them accomplish their goals. (Photo: Esperanza Staff)

«In today’s digital age, access to technology and the skills to navigate it are fundamental to success in school, work, and beyond,» said Bill Golderer, CEO &  President of United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.
Dan Bonelli, Senior Vice President for Comcast’s Freedom Region, said: «Digital Navigators and their work at the neighborhood level building digital skills and awareness of resources to help get residents online are critical to closing the digital divide. We are proud to support this innovative effort to meet residents where they are and make it easy for them to reach out and get the help needed to take advantage of all that the internet has to offer.»

Two Esperanza Hope Digital Skills Program students shared with Danelle Danemark from Comcast what means for them to receive a new laptop and how that will help them to get further in their lives. Also, they recommended Esperanza as a great organization that not only opens its doors for Hispanics but for all ethnicities.  (Photo: Esperanza Staff)

Jessica Narvaez, Project Director of Esperanza’s Hope Digital Skills Program, said: «Leading this program brings me joy knowing we have the capabilities to assist our community and they are able to improve their digital skills.» 

Danelle Danemark, Regional Vice President of Human Resources, said to some of Esperanza Hope Digital Skills Program’s students: «You are working hard, and you deserve the new laptop that will help you achieve what you want.»

In addition, Comcast helps residents who may face issues with affordability and is offering exclusive internet deals and spreading the word about affordability for the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). APC provides qualifying individuals with $30/month toward their internet service. 

Lili Daliessio is the Community Information Manager at Esperanza Housing and Economic Development.


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