SAN ANTONIO – A UTSA program aims to bridge the digital divide for people living in the West Side.
At UTSA’s Westside Community Center, students are helping people with internet research, access and applying for social services and troubleshooting technology.
“The goal is to not only let individuals become familiar with digital and usage of that but to be independent,” said Caitlyn DeLeon, UTSA student.
The digital inclusion program started following a survey conducted by UTSA that was looking at areas of the city impacted by the digital divide.
DeLeon said the survey showed the West Side was impacted the most.
“This means you don’t have the devices to access internet, you don’t have internet, or you could have both and you don’t know how to use it,” DeLeon said.
Students also teach residents about internet security and privacy.
Since opening in 2019, the center located along Guadalupe Street has played host to small group meetings, workshops, and community events.
“We also provide free scanning, printing, and copying services. And if they need any assistance with applications for government assistance or job applications,” said Mariana Bravo, UTSA student.
Students say the center and program is having a positive impact in the community.
“We see people come in continuously and they become more confident in their ability to use these devices,” said DeLeon.