Posted by: Academy of Achievement | 07/18/2013

leverenz1Zach Leverenz, Class of 2009
Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Fellow, CEO, EveryoneOn

I’m extremely grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds for the incredible experiences they afforded me as a 2009 Reynolds Fellow, both at Harvard and beyond. Today, I serve as the CEO of EveryoneOn, a national start-up social enterprise on a mission to eliminate the digital divide by providing free and low-cost Internet, computers, and training to the nearly 100 million unconnected Americans.

On March 21, 2013, EveryoneOn launched nationally with the following core services — based on what over a decade of research has defined as the primary barriers to technology adoption in the U.S.:

High speed home Internet service for $10/month:  Through partnerships with FreedomPop (Sprint & Clearwire), Cox, Comcast, Microsoft and others, we offer 70 -75 percent discounts on Internet service and computers to over 60 million qualified Americans. We are constantly searching for new partnerships that deliver the best quality product at the best value to our constituency. (See partner portfolio here).

Free basic digital literacy training: We partnered with over 21,000 libraries and nonprofits to provide free computer and Internet training across the country. As a call to action from the media campaign, we built a locator tool — accessible by phone, text, or web — that provides users with the closest free Internet and computer training to their area.

National media campaign on importance of digital literacy and being connected: We won a three-year, multi-media Ad Council campaign that targets unconnected Americans and communicates the value in being online for education, employment, and health care. Check out one of the TV PSAs below.

We’ve built a great deal of momentum to date, including coverage in USA Today, The Chicago Tribune and The New York Times, among other local and national outlets. Regardless of race, age, or socio-economic status, every American deserves access to the tools  that will allow them to be successful. This core principle was born from my own experience growing up on the wrong side of the opportunity divide. It was my time as a Reynolds Fellow that provided me with the skills and resolve to act upon these principals. For that, I am forever grateful to the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation!


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