Green Dot took our name from a newspaper map from 1999 which showed internet connectivity in neighborhoods across the metropolitan area -- green dots on the map showed sites that were wired for the internet; red dots showed those that had no connection. A stark pattern emerged: Affluent areas were all green dots while low income areas of the city were red dots. We were founded to turn the red dots green, to connect the rest of our youth and their families to the future. Now 20 years later, Green Dot is sending unprecedented numbers of children to college, and we may finally have the opportunity to connect all our students to the internet and fulfill a key aspect of our mission. COVID-19 is one more challenge in a long list of them, and we are rising to meet it.
On a normal day, Green Dot brings extraordinary opportunities to 15,000 students at 25 middle and high schools across Los Angeles and Memphis, sending unprecedented numbers of graduates to college. Decades into the digital age, far too many of our students still do not have a computer or internet access at home, a stark reminder of the digital divide and other educational equity issues that persist today.
Green Dot is responding rapidly, investing in computers, internet connectivity and new forms of teaching and counseling, providing food and mental health supports to students and sometimes their families. We serve all students including those with special needs and English Learners, providing core and elective classes, college counseling, mental health and other supports.
You can make a difference. Green Dot must raise $1,500,000 urgently to buy an additional 6100 Chromebook computers and 1800 hotspots for internet access to ensure every student can attend school.
Please consider donating directly. For even greater impact, start a fundraising team and create a giving circle. In challenging times, what we say and do matters greatly. Our destinies are interwoven. Let’s be extraordinary together.