T-Mobile’s EmpowerED™ Delivers Hot Spots to Cristo Rey Student
Closing the Homework Gap
Posted on 01/22/2018
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According to a 2016 Pew Research Center study, one-fifth of adults who lived in households with annual incomes less than $30,000 were “smartphone-only” internet users – meaning they own a smartphone but do not have broadband internet or a device at home.  

The digital divide shows up at school in what has been called the “homework gap” - students who have access to high-speed internet at home and those who don’t. Some 5 million school-age children do not have a broadband internet connection at home, with low-income households accounting for a disproportionate share. Despite a 1:1 technology program that puts a device in the hands of every student at Cristo Rey Kansas City, 60% of the student body goes home at night to a home without internet access.

Cristo Rey Sophomore Nykla Spann stated, "If you don't have the internet at home and cannot go to the library, it is very difficult to complete assignments on time. This will really help me stay on top of my studies!"

T-Mobile narrowed the divide for Cristo Rey Kansas City students through EmpowerED™, a program that provides wireless devices and service plans to help students and schools succeed. Every student at the school received a mobile hotspot and unlimited data that they can use at home or anywhere they need internet access. After learning of the program, Cristo Rey’s administration submitted documentation of the critical need and has been approved for participation.

About Cristo Rey Kansas City
Cristo Rey Kansas City is a private, Catholic, college preparatory high school sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. As one of the 32 schools in the Cristo Rey Network, the school incorporates a corporate work study program for culturally diverse students with economic need. On average, students live in households with $28,714 annual income and 92% qualify for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program. With its first graduates in 2010 and in each subsequent year, 100% of the school’s graduates have been accepted to college and 63% persist to college graduation. Currently, the school serves 386 students - 56% Latino, 35% African-American, 3% Caucasian, 1% Asian and 5% other ethnicities.