As we enter a new year, the staff at EveryoneOn has taken some time to reflect on exactly what brought us to work on the issue of the digital divide and what continues to drive us in our work. This post is by Kurt Peluso, our New Jersey regional manager. Find posts from other staff members here.
In the summer of 2014 a friend of mine gave me a call regarding the EveryoneOn position. He just had lunch with an EveryoneOn board member and they were looking for someone to lead the work EveryoneOn does in New Jersey. My friend immediately said he had the perfect person, gave my name, and set me up with my first meeting.
I spent the next few days looking at the EveryoneOn website and doing research on the digital divide. After that first meeting I was hooked, and my passion for this issue grew as I got to meet more people involved with the organization. EveryoneOn has a very clear and direct message: End the digital divide.
This was an issue I encountered on a daily basis in all my careers working in education, with nonprofits, and the public sector. This position allows me to use my background in all these areas and directly assist the individuals I used to work with.
In the 1990s you could make an argument that the Internet was more of a luxury than a necessity, but not anymore. Technology is such a key part to a student’s education, to finding and applying for a job, and our basic day to day life. I am reminded of this fact as I travel throughout New Jersey. After every meeting I have with a municipal, nonprofit, or school leader I am encouraged to do more. The need is there and these community leaders tell me every day, their goal of connecting their community.
What brought me here and keeps me here are the people we are connecting. After bringing the Internet to someone you always get a: thank you, God Bless you and the work you do, you made this a good year for me, because of you my child can now complete their school work, and so many more positive remarks. Many of the people we work with know what they are missing out on, and their appreciation encourages me to work at connecting more people every day.