Keeping Tabs on the Digital Divide

The LinkAge

Connecting the Children of Newark

Kurt Peluso (far right) at the launch event in Newark, NJ.Kurt Peluso (far right) at the launch event in Newark, NJ.

Newark is the largest city within the state of New Jersey. Nearly thirty percent of Newark residents live below the poverty line. Even more alarmingly, two of every five children in Newark are living below the poverty line. With this in mind, we knew that this city could really benefit from our help.

We met with representatives from the mayor’s office and they were thrilled to work with us. The city became an official Enrollment Partner in order to begin testing out our offers with Newark residents. After getting positive feedback about the program, we began talking to Newark about a bulk adoption, a program in which we facilitate organizations, schools, or in this case, a city, funding Internet service and devices for their beneficiaries.

We found a partner in P3GM, who committed to purchasing $75,000 worth of devices for the students of Newark. My Brother’s Keeper is currently working directly with the school to assist students in need by providing resources in counseling. The program’s relationship with the students of Newark made them the best option to get the devices directly to the students who needed them most.The city wanted a quick turnaround, and we were able to launch a week after getting the money and partners in place.

I sent out a press advisory to local and state run press detailing the launch in the city. We received a great response and knew ahead of time that county and statewide papers, local cable news networks, and radio broadcasts would be present for our launch.

We had a great launch event and were inundated with calls after. Since partnering with the city, less than a month ago, we have partnered with the Weequahic Park Association, Housing and Development, and the Newark Student Center all within Newark. We also were contacted by nonprofits, school districts, and municipalities throughout the state looking to partner with us.

“We know that in order for Newark residents of all ages to succeed in life, they need access to information technology,” Mayor Baraka said at the event. “We will transform Newark’s electronic community into one that we can all believe in.”

Each week we are expanding our presence in the city. Working directly with Newark has allowed us to reach out to the many organizations that serve the community and to do our part to improve the lives of the city’s residents.


Kurt Peluso is the New Jersey regional manager at EveryoneOn.