Mobile Citizen Spotlight: Hotspots Help Put Chicago’s Youth on the Right Path

November 29, 2017

At Youth Guidance, at school, in the community and in the working world, access to technology is as necessary as access to pencils and paper. Students need the internet to search for jobs, network, communicate, track current events and read the news, and to do research. GED programs, tutoring and other online educational opportunities require robust internet access. Students who don’t have internet access at home often depend on schools for access. This is where Youth Guidance’s partnership with Mobile Citizen comes in. Supported by a national collaboration of EBS (Educational Broadband Service) licensees, Mobile Citizen provides affordable wireless internet and hotspots with no data caps for the Youth Guidance staff, allowing them to use technology and internet access to better help those they serve.

This indispensable access affects the 10,000 Chicago-area youth directly served by Youth Guidance and helps it and its partners offer important programs in critical areas: counseling and prevention, afterschool/community programs, parent/family engagement and workforce/training support. Youth Guidance lays down stepping stones that lead from elementary school to college and employment. Many kids participate in multiple programs, advancing to the next step as they become ready: from afterschool programs to counseling and mentorship to college preparation and job training.

And technology is vitally important to Youth Guidance in an even more fundamental way: social service providers need the power of information technology to do their jobs. Youth Guidance and its partners and employees prepare reports, track clients, manage data and measure outcomes that they must communicate to funders, regulatory agencies, the public and governmental bodies. It’s impossible to imagine applying for a grant or crunching numbers without the power of technology, and clients like Youth Guidance produce a lot of data to demonstrate that their programs are working: they get kids through school. They save lives. They reduce violence in the community.

For more information on Youth Guidance and how Mobile Citizen helps its work in Chicago, read the full case study.

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