LEWISTON — UScellular has donated 100 wireless hot spots and two years of service to the YWCA Central Maine as part of its After School Access Project.

More than 40 million people in the United States lack reliable access to high-speed internet, leaving to youth lacking proper internet access.

The project provides free mobile hot spots and service to nonprofits that support after-school programs.

“The success of students in the communities we serve is very important to us at UScellular,” Tabatha McKay, area vice president and general manager, said.

UScellular has pledged to donate up to $13 million in hot spots and service to help up to 50,000 youth connect to reliable internet in its markets. To date, it has donated more than 9,300 hot spots valued at $10.5 million through this initiative. Eligible 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations are encouraged to apply by going to www.AfterSchoolAccessProject.com.

The YWCA before-, after- and all-day programs serve children in kindergarten through sixth grade with bus transportation provided directly to and from most LA schools. Students can expect a hearty and healthy snack after school, or breakfast, lunch, and snack during all-day care. The YWCA also provides all-day care during school vacations, most holidays and professional development/early release days, as well as unplanned school closures for emergencies.

Hot spots are stand-alone Wi-Fi networks that can connect several devices at once wirelessly and have proven to be a vital tool for youth to access the internet, study and complete homework. The hot spots provided through After School Access Project connect to UScellular’s network to provide high-speed connectivity for youth throughout Auburn-Lewiston while at the YWCA or at their home.

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