MEDA’s Richard Abisla Named “2014 Broadband Champion”
MEDA is proud to announce that the renowned California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) has named our Technology Manager, Richard Abisla, a “2014 Broadband Champion.” Richard is being recognized for his hard work to close the growing digital divide. The champions were selected by CETF in consultation with dozens of broadband leaders, community advocates and policymakers.
Richard’s first foray into closing the digital divide was when he worked with an indigenous rights group in the Central American nation of Honduras to set up a computer lab and create project-based computer training curricula. This experience laid the groundwork for his current role as project manager of MEDA’s Latino Tech-Net. Richard has the laudable goal of getting every family in the neighborhood digital access.
“MEDA is committed to making sure low-income families have affordable broadband access at home,” zealously exclaims Abisla. “We’ve helped over 150 neighborhood families get connected and we’re working hard to make sure that EVERY student and family in the Mission has access.”
“Really this award is for the whole great technology team we have in place here at MEDA, including Erica Castillo, our Broadband Coach, and Leo Sosa, our Technology Training Coordinator,” Richard explains.
“Erica works tirelessly every day to help families evaluate if they can afford broadband—the answer is usually ‘yes’, with our low-cost offers—and sign up for service, and Leo does a fantastic job making sure that our classes create savvy new users of technology.”
Richard was the impetus behind MEDA’s successful “Get Connected!” classes, with the next such FREE event scheduled for Saturday, May 17th, at Plaza Adelante. This popular event brings in tech-industry and other interested volunteers to teach basic digital skills to low- and middle-income Mission District residents.
“Our ‘Get Connected!’ event in February trained over 100 adults and kids. We are hoping to connect even more Mission families at our May event. These classes are a big part of our vision of having the entire neighborhood enter the digital world,” states Richard.
What are the results so far? Here are some numbers for the last six months of 2013:
Open Lab Access: 753
New Broadband Subscriptions: 140
Keep up the great work, Richard! MEDA is about solutions.