Mobile Citizen Spotlight: Cultivating the Future and Celebrating the Past in Chicago

Image Description: Mobile Citizen Logo that includes the world Mobile Citizen in red and gray and three arches above the word that resemble a wi-fi icon.

At Voqal, creating a more socially equitable world is at the core of everything we do. That includes the work of Voqal project, Mobile Citizen. It provides low-cost mobile internet with unlimited data plans exclusively to nonprofit organizations, educational entities, and social welfare agencies. We believe that making internet access available, and the opportunities it provides, at an affordable price is key to realizing a more socially equitable world for all. This month we highlight one of the organizations Mobile Citizen works with to achieve its mission, Neighborhood Development Services.

An excerpt from a recent case study featuring Neighborhood Development Services is below:

Led in part by two brothers who grew up on Chicago’s South Side, Neighborhood Development Services (NDS) was founded in 2015 to promote cultural education, tourism, and mentorship. The nonprofit’s popular tours teach the rich African American history of the South Side area, and its educational programs — including robotics and journalism — provide opportunities for kids to excel.

Joseph Montgomery says he’s the history buff behind Neighborhood Development Services. His brother Norman is the technology guru. It was Norman’s idea, for example, to offer Robotics and Coding Summer Camps to young kids in the community.

It was also Norman’s idea to distribute Wi-Fi hotspot devices to South Side schools during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Schools were going remote, and there were kids without internet at home,” Joseph explained, “so we distributed Wi-Fi hotspots and Chromebooks to the schools.” NDS partnered with Mobile Citizen because of their affordable pricing on both the Wi-Fi hotspot devices and unlimited high-speed internet service.

NDS uses Mobile Citizen devices to support local small business too. Enterprising South Side residents grow and sell fresh fruits, vegetables, and other items in neighborhood gardens along Chicago’s African American Heritage Trail. Produce markets like these are typically cash-only, but that’s tricky now that so few people carry cash. Using Mobile Citizen devices, NDS provides these independent business owners with mobile hotspots so they can use apps like Squarespace to complete their sales.

Interested in learning more about Neighborhood Development Services and its work on the South Side of Chicago? Read the full case study on the Mobile Citizen website. While you’re there learn how your organization can benefit from Mobile Citizen’s low-cost internet access.