Thu, Jun 27, 2019
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Through a new sparrow impact initiative, students attending Larkin Street Academy receive donated smartphones and sponsored wireless service to help them connect with teachers and stay in school.
While many teenagers and young adults have cell phones through family plans, at Larkin Street Academy — an education and employment program serving young people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco — the majority of students have no family support, let alone a family phone plan. Addressing this basic need and helping at-risk youth achieve brighter futures, sparrow and Larkin Street Youth Services (Larkin Street) set out to equip youth attending Larkin Street Academy with smartphones and data plans to help students stay in better contact with their teachers and school.
Following a successful pilot, sparrow and Larkin Street are extending the initiative to additional students, with the goal of creating a program in which all Larkin Street Academy students can receive donated smartphones and sponsored wireless service. Smartphones for the pilot were donated by Goldie Group, with wireless service donated by sparrow.
“Because we work with youth who live in unstable housing, keeping in touch is a real challenge. Cell phones with data plans make a big difference by helping teachers and students stay in contact,” explained Natalie Porter, Manager of Education, Larkin Street Academy.
Through sparrow’s new SchoolPhones initiative, Larkin Street Academy students, many of whom live in shelters, get a donated smartphone and free wireless service while attending school. Students can keep the phones when they complete the six-month academic program. In addition, students receive digital training and specialized mobile mentor support. The mobile mentor is a paid intern, hired from the Larkin Street student body, who provides peer support while gaining career-building experience.
sparrow is launching a Bay Area campaign where people who switch their wireless service to sparrow can designate the SchoolPhones program as their impact beneficiary and receive a free sparrow SIM card for their own phone. The goal is to enlist enough “sponsor sparrows” to provide smartphones and data plans for all Larkin Street Academy students, on an ongoing basis. For this program, six sparrow customers form a “flock” to create mobile access for one student. With an estimated 60 students per year who attend classes and need phones, 360 sparrow subscribers can fully support the program each year.
Wireless customers in the Bay Area and U.S. can sign up with sparrow to sponsor phones and data plans for Larkin Street and other communities in need by visiting sparrowmobile.com and using the promo code “SCHOOLPHONES” at checkout to designate Larkin Street as their beneficiary.
sparrow is a US wireless company with a social mission: Digitally enable people and create a more inclusive world. Every person who switches their mobile service to sparrow helps someone in need gain digital access. Learn more at https://sparrowmobile.com
About Larkin Street Youth Services
Larkin Street Youth Services is a nonprofit empowering young people to move beyond homelessness. Founded in 1984, they’ve helped over 75,000 young adults in San Francisco by providing a continuum of healthcare, housing, employment, and education services. Learn more at: https://larkinstreetyouth.org
About The Goldie Group
The Goldie Group is a leading provider of value-added life cycle and managed services in the electronics and wireless technology industries. With facilities located throughout North America, they are the premier partner for Network Operators, Original Equipment Manufacturers, Retailers and Enterprises. The Goldie Group platform, consisting of vertically integrated IT and operational service offerings shortens the supply chain, leading to best-in-class product-agnostic efficiencies. Learn more at: http://www.goldiegroup.com/ACTIVATE YOUR PHONE FOR GOOD