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CUMBERLAND — UScellular has launched the After School Access Project, a program that provides free mobile hotspots and service to nonprofits that support youth after the school day has ended and provides safe internet access for homework and education.

The program is an expansion of previous hotspot donations the company provided to address connectivity needs during the pandemic. Seeing the greater need, the company has pledged to donate up to $13 million in hotspots and service to connect up to 50,000 youth in 2022. Eligible nonprofit organizations can apply by going to https://bit.ly/3B7zOZQ.

“When we heard the stories of youth who couldn’t get access to reliable internet for their schoolwork, we knew we had to act,” said Laurent C. Therivel, president and CEO of UScellular.

“Connecting people and communities is our mission and the After School Access Project is just one way that we’re helping ensure students have the reliable access they need to grow and pursue their dreams.”

Hotspots are standalone Wi-Fi networks that can connect several devices at once and have proven to be a vital tool for youth to access the internet, study and complete homework.

To date in 2021, UScellular has donated 2,800 hotspots and service to 33 Boys & Girls clubs across the country, a $2.6 million investment. Clubs have used them to boost their connectivity on site and loaned the device to youth and their families to support reliable access at home.

Certified 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations that operate within UScellular’s service area and are focused on K-12 students can apply. The program is not open to schools or government entities.

Hotspot devices will be shipped within eight weeks of an approved application.

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