In May, NTEN and Google Fiber launched the Digital Inclusion Fellowship, a new program investing in local communities and nonprofit organizations to address the digital divide. Over the last two months, we received applications from hundreds of interested digital inclusion advocates, and worked with the City Host organizations to conduct interviews. We are now proud to announce the 16 Fellows who will be working for the next year on projects that include setting up basic computer skills courses, increasing home internet usage, and volunteer recruitment and training.
Alonso Reyna Rivarola, hosted by Salt Lake Education Foundation in Salt Lake City, UT
Alonso R. Reyna Rivarola is a second year DACAmented graduate student at the University of Utah. His passion for working with the community ignited in 2008 with the Mestizo Arts & Activism Collective, where he learned the transformational impact of working closely with the community to achieve positive social change. Through the Digital Inclusion Fellowship, Alonso seeks to engage community members and use digital literacy as a powerful tool and catalyst for educational access, political agency, and community change.
Aneta Thomas Lee, hosted by City of Atlanta, Department of Parks & Recreation in Atlanta, GA
Aneta Thomas Lee is an altruistic forward-thinker with a passion for underserved neighborhoods. She has worked in Nonprofit Management—either by volunteer or active employment—for over 20 years. She enjoys serving others by giving them the education they need to empower themselves. Although Aneta serves as a devoted activist for her community, her success as an advocate for her family is a continuing source of pride.
Adam Strizich, hosted by Martha O’Bryan Center in Nashville, TN
Adam Strizich was born and raised in Helena, Montana. He graduated from Seattle University in 2012 with a BS in Biology and spent another year in Seattle doing head injury prevention research. Adam has spent the last two years serving with the Jesuit Volunteer Corp: first in Scranton, Pennsylvania, as a caretaker for individuals with developmental disabilities; and this past year in Nashville, Tennessee, serving individuals that call the streets of Nashville home.
Daniel Lucio, hosted by Austin Free-Net in Austin, TX
Daniel Lucio is a proud Texan and community organizer who most recently served as the statewide Field Director for Battleground Texas, a grassroots organization working to expand the electorate and turn Texas into a battleground state. He earned his MPA while working as a Program Manager in South Texas, during which time he helped build community coalitions around environmental issues. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys hiking, surfing, and working on his famous chili recipe.
Daniel Valdez, hosted by Literacy Action in Atlanta, GA
Daniel Valdez was born in Mexico and has lived in the USA for over 25 years. He holds a BA in History and Latin American Studies from UNCC. He has worked extensively on various human rights issues, economic justice, and the arts. He resides in the Atlanta-Metro area and volunteers with the Atlanta Pride Committee and the OUT Film Festival. Daniel enjoys traveling, hiking, playing volleyball, and checking out the local food scene.
Dustin Steinacker, hosted by United Way of Utah County in Provo, UT
Dustin Steinacker has been a resident of Utah Valley for most of his life, where he has gained more than eight years of professional technology support and research experience, most recently as a volunteer computer instructor for a local social services organization. He is excited to put his experience to work on a project of this scale and to lay the groundwork for overcoming the digital divide in the Provo area.
Eze Redwood, hosted by Literacy Kansas City in Kansas City, MO
Eze Redwood is passionate about innovation and community building. At age 14, his first company, a high school candy business, made $30,000 in four months before being shut down. At 19, Eze graduated from Williams College, and rose to leadership in a boutique marketing firm. By now, at 29, Eze has sat on seven boards of directors and has experiences ranging from chair of an investment bank’s internal think tank, to youth leadership development mentor in Central Europe, to partner in a gourmet wings restaurant.
James Butts, hosted by Triangle Literacy Council in Raleigh, NC
James Butts has been working as a literacy skills instructor for the past seven years and is passionate about instilling self-confidence, personal pride, and positive achievement in every student. James has effectively tutored disadvantaged and troubled teens and incarcerated men and women to increase their literacy levels. James has helped men and women in the community successfully earn high school diplomas, despite personal, social, or economic struggles.
Jessica Washington, hosted by Urban League of Central Carolinas in Charlotte, NC
Jessica Washington is a graduate of UNC Charlotte with degrees in Spanish and Africana Studies. She has worked for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in Teen Services, at Rowan Cabarrus Community College as Early Literacy Coordinator, and as an ESL teacher. She is interested in community programs, coding, and especially women who code. Her hobbies include trying to learn how to code, dreaming about travel, reading, and shopping.
Leslie Scott, hosted by Full Employment Council in Kansas City, MO
Leslie Scott is an entrepreneurially-minded community activist who is committed to social and economic equity in the urban core of Kansas City, MO. For the last few years, Leslie has been specifically focused on the importance of ensuring all Kansas Citians have access to technology and the potential it offers to level the playing field for underserved groups, especially for youth. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications Studies from Washburn University, a master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas, and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Maithri Vangala, hosted by TechBridge in Atlanta, GA
Maithri Vangala is passionate about ensuring the right to health for all. Her experiences doing public health field work in El Salvador, editing a national health care publication, and most recently, PTSD research, have confirmed her belief in the vitality of access to information in this digital age and her dedication to bringing it to underserved populations. A native of Georgia and graduate of Georgia Tech, Maithri is ecstatic to serve as TechBridge’s digital inclusion fellow this year.
Mike Byrd, hosted by Kramden Institute, Inc. in Durham, NC
Mike Byrd earned his Doctorate in Law at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland Marshall College of Law as well as his Master of Business Administration degree from Cleveland State University’s Monte Ahuja College of Business Administration. He has over 25 years of business experience in sales, marketing, strategic management, project management, economic development, consumer targeting, interim executive leadership, nonprofit consulting, integration of social media with outreach campaigns, and business development.
Naymar Prikhodko, hosted by Skillpoint Alliance in Austin, TX
Naymar Prikhodko is a trilingual social worker and an analyst programmer. She began her career in the field of social services working within the Austin Independent School District. As an NTEN Member and Skillpoint Alliance fellow, Naymar supports the group’s mission to expand the economic growth and development of people in the community through the use of technology while addressing the need to develop local talent through educational opportunities that lead to college and career success.
Ruben Campillo, hosted by Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in Charlotte, NC
Ruben Campillo is a native of Mexico but considers Charlotte, NC his home. He is passionate about social justice and technology. Over the last ten years, he has worked closely with students, business leaders, and grassroots organizations in statewide and national campaigns in support of access to higher education, voter engagement, and immigrant rights. In his free time, he enjoys traveling and keeping up with the latest high-tech gadgets.
Sol Katia Jimenez, hosted by Salt Lake Education Foundation in Salt Lake City, UT
Sol Katia Jimenez, was born in Mexico but has lived in Salt Lake City, UT since the age of two. She is a DACAmented undergraduate student at the University of Utah. Her areas of passion are youth advocacy, educational access and attainment, political participation, and immigration. Some of her all-time favorite things are her family, coffee shops, cycling, bookstores, music, art museums, color coordination, the Rocky Mountains, and people.
Susan Reaves, hosted by Nashville Public Library in Nashville, TN
Susan S. Reaves is a licensed 7-12 teacher in the state of Tennessee. Her previous experience includes major account sales with Sprint, development with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and medical industry marketing. Susan received her M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from Middle Tennessee State University and a B.A. in Economics from Tulane University. She lives with her husband in Brentwood, TN, has two adult children, and enjoys reading and volunteering in the Nashville community.
Update: As of August 2015, Daniel Valdez is no longer a part of the Digital Inclusion Fellowship. DeAndre Pickett has joined the program as the Digital Inclusion Fellow for Literary Action in Atlanta, Georgia. As of December 2015, Eze Redwood is no longer a part of the Digital Inclusion Fellowship. Sarah Bell has joined the program as the Digital Inclusion Fellow for Literary Kansas City in Kansas City, KS / MO.