As a Portland, Oregon resident and Intel employee, I’ve been lucky enough to experience wireless 4G WiMAX Internet broadband, as well as speak with others who are amazed by its speed, availability, and their overall experience. What I find most inspiring, however, is to hear how WiMAX is truly making a difference in peoples’ lives.
My latest find is Centro Cultural and the “Digital Connectors” in Washington County, Oregon. Digital Connectors are youth trained to promote technology in their community using Washington County Beehive. The online guide was created to empower the local Latino community with tools supporting computer literacy and job training.
Through its Adelante con Tecnología (Moving Forward With Technology) program, Centro Cultural and Intel have been working to help bridge the digital divide among Latinos in this community, and the program has been quite successful. In fact, in a two-month timeframe (Dec. 2008 through Jan. 2009), 22 Adelanta con Tecnología volunteers reached 49 families, more than 100 individuals, during that time.
Since volunteers do not have Internet access when visiting homes, they are limited in demonstrating the unlimited possibilities. To overcome this hurdle, Intel has donated WiMAX-embedded netbooks with Clear service from Clearwire to drive the program’s cause forward.
Sabino Sardineta, executive director of Centro Cultural, talked about the donation. “We are thrilled and honored to have this relationship with Intel and Clearwire. Having WiMAX netbooks to use will allow the Digital Connectors to provide their clients with a real-time look at that technology, so they can really understand the benefits technology can provide themselves and their families.”
4-H Tech Wizard Dominick from Forest Grove High School in Washington County, created the Centro Cultural’s presence on MySpace and Facebook with his netbook. And using the WiMAX-enabled netbook on the go, Dominick can update the sites with Clear, even wtih a busy school and social schedule.
Over the next few weeks, I hope to share more 4-H Tech Wizard “extraordinaire” stories with you. Stay tuned!