2020 Grants Challenge

Connected & Empowered Communities (CEC)

Idea by EveryoneOn

CEC is a virtual digital skills training program for low-income adults and seniors. Facilitated by community college students, the virtual training program will ensure participants develop the digital literacy skills required to access critical services, employment opportunities, and educational resources found online. This program will also equip participants with affordable internet service and computers to ensure a robust learning experience. A virtual and multi-generational program will create new opportunities to connect, learn, and grow


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

The Los Angeles Promise Zone

If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.

While this is not a “collaborative proposal”, EveryoneOn will work with organizations that serve the LAPZ and the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti to help identify adults and seniors who can benefit from participating in the program. Modest stipends will be provided for their outreach support. In addition, we will work with Los Angeles City College to identify students interested in delivering the virtual trainings. Student trainers will be provided a stipend for their support of the program.

The success of our digital skills trainings for 80 seniors in 2018 was in large part due to the collective efforts with LAPZ partners. We look forward to continuing the collective impact work to foster digital equity in the LAPZ and beyond.

What is the need you’re responding to?

Recently, we’ve observed COVID-19 shed light on the severity of the digital divide and also exacerbate it by forcing libraries, schools, and other public spaces to close, eliminating the places many low-income people relied on for connectivity and learning. Now more than ever we need to ensure all communities are connected to the internet, have devices, and develop the digital skills needed to participate and thrive in today’s digital society and economy.

Our proposed program builds off of a digital skills training program that reached 80 seniors in the Los Angeles Promise Zone (LAPZ), which prepared participants to use a computer, enroll in services, and manage their finances online. The need for digital skills training is even greater now. CEC will deliver a robust digital skills training in a virtual and multigenerational format, with the goal of fostering new social connections, increasing digital literacy, and improving internet adoption rates.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?​

CEC reflects EveryoneOn’s commitment to creating a society where people, in particular those who are underserved, harness the power of the internet and technology to build transformative opportunities for themselves and their communities. To achieve this, we employ a multi-prong approach: we built a national platform of low-cost internet offers; we conduct internet adoption campaigns in communities; and we implement digital skills trainings that are inclusive and deliver measurable impact for participants.

Since 2013, we have collaborated with cross-sector organizations throughout Los Angeles, including the City of Los Angeles to help launch OurCycleLA and the LAPZ to deliver trainings for unconnected and underconnected seniors. The latter was supported by the Annenberg Foundation (via our LA2050 application submittal) and Capital One. We look forward to building on our collective impact approach to curb the digital divide and foster digital equity for residents of the LAPZ.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?​

Direct Impact: 105

Indirect Impact: 180

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

Our efforts will focus in Hollywood, East Hollywood, Pico-Union, Westlake, and Wilshire Center (LAPZ communities), where many noncitizens, seniors, and those with low educational levels confront poverty, overcrowded housing conditions, and lack high-speed internet at home. CEC will engage those who are most affected by the digital divide, adults with an annual household income under $30,000 and low-income seniors.

We also look forward to adding to conversations about the development of Los Angeles as a smart city. We cannot talk about creating smart cities if low-income communities have no or limited internet access and digital skills.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

Through CEC we aim to create opportunities for adults and seniors to learn how and feel empowered to harness the power of the internet and build new social connections with each other and younger neighbors (local community college students) via live virtual digital skills training sessions.

To achieve this vision, we will 1) design and deliver 5 four-week virtual digital skills trainings; 2) train a total of 100 adults and seniors with limited or no digital skills; 3) enroll unconnected and underconnected training participants in a low-cost internet service program and sponsor the first month of service; 4) equip all training participants with a computer; and 5) utilize a “train-the-trainer” model to prepare up to 5 local community college students to deliver the live virtual training sessions.

To capture outcomes and measure impact, EveryoneOn will utilize a continuous feedback process, via pre and post training surveys, session-specific surveys, and interviews. The following will be measured to help assess impact and overall success:

- Internet adoption

- Comfort utilizing the internet and computers

- Ability to communicate, collaborate, and create on digital platforms

- Ability to safely navigate the internet and set privacy settings

- Awareness and utilization of diverse online platforms, such as job search engines, K-12 parent/student portals, and medical portals

- Social connectedness

Which of the CONNECT metrics will your submission impact?​

Internet access

Social and emotional support

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?​

Access to the LA2050 community

Communications support

Capacity, including staff

Strategy assistance and implementation