Stories of Impact: David’s Challenge Young Achievers Ohio is Bridging the Digital Divide for East Cleveland Youth During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Young teenage boy working on homeschool assignments using laptop at home

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced students across the community to learn from home and complete their schoolwork online. However, many families – especially those living in poverty – don’t have access to a computer or high-speed internet in their homes. It’s estimated that nearly a quarter of Cuyahoga County households have no home-based broadband access, including smart phones. East Cleveland leads the county with 43% of households lacking internet access. This puts students at a major disadvantage as they try to keep up with their education from home.

David’s Challenge Young Achievers Ohio, a youth development organization serving children ages five to thirteen, has stepped up to help East Cleveland youth access the resources they need to complete their school assignments at home. With a $50,000 grant from the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, an emergency fund created by a coalition of partners across Northeast Ohio to deploy resources to nonprofit organizations serving on the frontlines of the pandemic in our region, David’s Challenge is able to restart its operations and purchase computers and other equipment for students to use.

“Here in the community of East Cleveland, most of the families are not able to access a computer in order to download their homework assignments and print them out. So, they rely on our organization to download and print homework,” said Faith Dickens, Founder & Executive Director of David’s Challenge Young Achievers Ohio. “The grant from the Greater Cleveland Rapid Response Fund will help us to purchase computers for our kids to be able to access their homework. We wanted to provide that.” In addition to the purchase of computer equipment, David’s Challenge also used the grant to hire temporary staff and provide food to students, continuing its efforts to support the social-emotional development of young people in East Cleveland.

You can watch Faith Dickens’ full interview here:

Stay tuned for more “Stories of Impact” from partners that are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis and serving residents in need with support from the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund. You can make a gift to the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund here.