Groups partner to provide internet to low-income students in Tacoma

TACOMA - Several organizations are working together to help get technology in the hands of low-income students who are struggling during COVID-19.

The stay home order has added extra challenges for students, and poverty exponentially increases those challenges.

That's why the Foundation for Tacoma Students is partnering with Tacoma Public Schools and Rainier Connect to help those families.

“Now more than ever, especially if we continue in these environments, access to technology will be critical for our students,” said Tafona Ervin.

Ervin is the Executive director of the Foundation for Tacoma Students.

She says this pandemic has highlighted a big problem, but it’s not a new one.

“Lack of access to technology and WIFI has always been an issue,” said Ervin.

The goal is to get the internet into households who are in need.

Internet services would be available for one year to these families at no cost, thanks to the help of donations.

Fifty homes are scheduled for installation this week. Ervin says the plan is to service at least 4,750 other homes.

“I want to make sure that people understand all children are able and have the potential to achieve greatness and when given the right tools and prioritized they can have the expectations that we set for them, or exceed them,” she said.

For Ervin, this is a cause that is very special to her.

“I’m a product of Tacoma, Washington, born and raised, impacted by poverty, first generation, you name the stereotype. That is certainly part of my resume,” she said.

Now the mother of three wants to give back to the community who helped her.

In addition to internet access, the Foundation for Tacoma Students is working to provide laptops to students in need.

All of this work is done with the help of donations from the community.

For more information or to get involved click here.