To help provide equitable learning access and opportunities and keep local youth connected, UScellular has donated 25 wireless hotspots and two years of service to Alfond Youth & Community Center in Waterville as part of its After School Access Project.

Currently, more than 40 million people in the United States lack reliable access to high-speed internet, and, UScellular notes, it can lead to an issue known as the “homework gap” among youth who lack proper internet access. After School Access Project 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 success of students in the communities we serve is very important to us at UScellular,” said Tabatha McKay, area vice president/general manager, in a news release from 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.”

The center is utilizing the donated hotspots to better serve its kindergarten through 12th grade youth participants and their families. The organization is using the hotspots in its 72,000 square foot facility, as well as providing a hotspot loan program to expand AYCC virtual programs, such as academic support, health and wellness, Unified, and skill building in karate, athletics, swimming, and art.

“We believe that the use of the hotspots will allow AYCC to bring our programs to our community at-large,” states Ken Walsh, CEO for the Alfond Youth & Community Center. “It will help us expand our virtual programming to those communities that are not close to the community center and help us reach more youth and families in need.”

Through the After School Access Project, UScellular has pledged to donate up to $13 million in hotspots and service to help up to 50,000 youth connect to reliable internet in its markets. To date, the company has donated more than 9,300 hotspots, at a value of $10.5 million. Eligible nonprofit organizations are encouraged to apply by going to


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