I hope you are continuing to be safe, healthy and virtually connected to your friends and family. I should not have been surprised that our survey results pointed to LIT staff and volunteers to get creative and safely continue to be connected with students and families. We need one another: equally. Connectivity-- even if it's on the phone or through a laptop screen-- has proven to be a core value not only essential to our program, but maybe at the core of what it means to be human.
I watch every day my partner leave in his green Air Force uniform and his Mike O'Callaghan Military Medical Center hospital badge. As he uses his skillset to support battling this pandemic, I socially isolate at home and make youtube videos and call kids and families-- it's what I can think of contributing at this time. Though it may seem silly to continue building a college access path when our Cohort 1 graduating college seniors don't even get to experience a traditional commencement, our family and student response reminds us it's not. Last night 100% of 9th graders (Cohort 8) and new 10th graders (Cohort 7) were on their first weekly zoom cohort call with Program Manager Ms. Romero who herself continues to work for LIT while at home in California.
Bridging the digital divide means dropping off laptops at homes, connecting families to wifi services and lending out mifis. In our most oppressed communities, connectivity is vital. Even if it's only for 300+ students and families, we know our role is to do something and we appreciate our students and families for giving us a way forward. Because of them, all our content is now open source and available for anyone to learn along with us here (please note content updated daily):
Whether it's an LIT family making a pot of Korean food to give to another family where both parents are laid off from their casino jobs, a Cohort 5 member/12th grader getting an acceptance letter from Boston University to over a dozen community members volunteering to make content videos from home, our community remains connected, consistent and productive.
Thank you for being part of our LIT family over the past 8 years. If you are in a position to help, our 3 most immediate needs are: 1)Gift cards to grocery stores 2)toilet paper 3)Funds to support monthly tuition payments for college students who lost their part-time jobs. All donations at this time are supporting students and families through COVID-19: litlv.org/donate. Stay safe, healthy and know how appreciated you are and what a difference you are making,
Erica V. Mosca
Founder & Executive Director
LIT Way Forward