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Closing The Gap

The “new normal” economy is hitting our marginalized populations harder than ever before. Unemployment is rising; access to basic services are declining; and nonprofits are scrambling to bridge the gap for community members who are struggling to survive. As a society, we are moving further and further into digital communication- and those that do not have access to technology are getting left out of the conversation. At NextStep, we are expanding our outreach and creating a new partnership with business, Internet providers, and public schools.

Our ePower Our Community program will target our most marginalized youth and families by creating a wrap-around digital literacy program – to better prepare youth for school and support their parents in communicating with the wide world. Introducing technology with Internet connectivity, and classroom training will support children in their schooling and support their parents to connect with their teachers, employers, and medical care providers.

Did you know:
  • There is one computer for every ten children in Oregon schools?
  • There are waiting lists to use computers in our library?
  • To apply for unemployment and social security benefits it must be done online?
  • Teachers are communicating with parents via email and school newsletters are going digital?
  • More and more companies are advertising jobs online?
Without access to a computer and the Internet, there is a widening gap between those that can participate in the wide world, and those who cannot. University of Oregon educator, Joanna Goode, reports that our public schools are not preparing our youth for college. "I found that high-school opportunities around technology really shape students' abilities to engage fully in university academic life," Goode said. "If students don't have experiences in high school, they show up for college ill-prepared to have a variety of choices about which directions to go in their scholarship. Strong preparation, either at home or in high school, can really launch students into feeling successful in college. Insufficient preparation really gives students a sense of not belonging and a deficit in their own perspectives as academic beings."

If you have a notion to purchase any new electronics, please donate your obsolete electronics to NextStep. The sooner the computers/cell phones/clocks/radios/stereos/printers/lamps/iPods/DVD players/TVs/etc get to us, the sooner we can refurbish them and get them back into the community-while they still have reusable value.

If you have any questions about making your hardware donation, please call Enid at 541-686-2366 ext 118 for answers.

Lorraine Kerwood
NextStep Recycling
2101 W. 10th Ave.
Eugene, OR
Phone: (541) 686-2366
Fax: (541) 686-0577

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