We are excited to announce that Marathon Petroleum has granted $100,000 to Project Overcome and regional partners to promote digital inclusivity in the 79905 ZIP code. The grant will support an effort by Project Overcome to provide a wireless, high-bandwidth network to households in 79905, which is considered one of the most poverty-stricken ZIP codes in the country.
The project will enable and promote digital inclusion through devices, training, and connectivity. These efforts will support telehealth, financial literacy, and STEM education. Marathon’s funding also will promote connectivity to support K-12 education in an underserved community located adjacent to its El Paso site.
Accessibility for children and families is a main driver for Marathon’s participation. “Marathon Petroleum understands the impact internet access has on the success of our local students. Removing that roadblock not only enables every child to keep up in the classroom, but also opens up a world of learning by making the internet accessible, no matter a family’s socioeconomic situation,” says VJ Smith, Head of Government and Public Affairs at Marathon Petroleum.
The 79905 ZIP code is a low income and underserved community, with a median household income of $19,445. It is on the U.S.-Mexico border and is home to one of the busiest international crossings on the southern U.S. Border, directly east of downtown El Paso.
This is part of a comprehensive initiative, Borderplex Connect, a working group of regional stakeholders focused on closing the digital divide. It is made up of several key partners in the area, including city, county and other governmental entities and the private sector. It is a non-profit affiliate of the El Paso Community Foundation.
“Providing equitable, reliable access to the internet is as important as any utility. Robust internet really means access to education, primary healthcare, better job opportunities, financial systems, and all of society,” said Eric Pearson, President and CEO of the El Paso Community Foundation. ”This is some of the most important work the El Paso Community Foundation can do right now, and we are grateful for Marathon Petroleum’s partnership and support.”
Marathon’s funding will be allocated proportionally across: Marketing, Community Awareness; Site Survey and Final Design; Hardware; Software & Subscriptions; Install Services; and Post Install Fine tune. For more information about Marathon Petroleum, please visit marathonpetroleum.com