Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)–January 13, 2017. Some 250 high school students in Park Forest stand to become the proud new owners of cellular devices thanks to a new initiative from Sprint.
Park Forest was selected as one of 11 communities across the country by Sprint and the Sprint Foundation to participate in the 1Million Project Pilot Program to benefit youth without internet access at home. Close to 100 communities applied to take part in the program.
Participating students will receive either a free smartphone, tablet, or hotspot device and 3GB of high-speed LTE data per month. Unlimited data is available at 2G speeds if usage exceeds 3GB in a month. Those who receive a smartphone can use it as a hotspot and for unlimited domestic calls and texts. All unlimited features are while on the Sprint network.
“Since we announced the 1Million Project, we’ve received an incredible amount of outreach from schools across the country that need help,” said Sprint’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications Doug Michelman. “Too many students in America lack internet access at home and are falling behind in school and in life. We couldn’t be more excited and honored to work with these amazing institutions to launch the pilot program and start helping disadvantaged students reach their full potential.”
Upon successful completion of the pilot program, which begins this month, schools will also be invited to join the multiyear initiative through its entirety when it rolls out nationwide rollout for the 2017-2018 school year.
Park Forest Teen Services Coordinator Adina McCollough submitted an application in October on behalf of Park Forest teens after viewing a video about the program on YouTube. After receiving notification the following month that Park Forest was selected, McCollough contacted Rich East High School to devise a plan on how the 250 devices could be distributed.
McCollough and staff at Rich East High School have organized a Teen Zone Open House and Sprint Activation Fair slated for Jan. 17, from 4 to 7 p.m., in at the Park Forest Recreation Center located in Michelle Obama school, 215 Wilson St. in Park Forest. At the event, students approved to receive a free device will also have the opportunity to learn more about Park Forest’s Teen Zone program – an after school program led by McCollough.
In determining which 250 students at Rich East High School to select, organizers looked for academic achievement and participation in activities outside of the classroom.
The free devices and unlimited data plans will be available for students throughout their entire high school careers. In the fall of this year, if the pilot program is deemed a success, every low income student at Rich East and Rich Central High School will become eligible to participate.
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