Kimberly Dockett sees poor internet connectivity as a health crisis for our communities.
When something’s not working, Kimberly Dockett is all about fixing it. So, when inadequate internet services at Nickerson Gardens basically turned it into a Digital Desert, Kimberly worked round the clock to spearhead the Nickerson Garden’s Digital Ambassador Program. “We’d been suffering for about five years from poor internet service in our community. When I was recruited for the JobsPlus program as a Community Health worker, I went to my manager and said, this is a health issue, let’s get on this.”
Kimberly’s interviews of residents revealed that her concerns about lack of digital connectivity were well-founded, and this was brought into sharp relief by the COVID19 pandemic. COVID19 revealed a virtual health crisis where the lack of laptops and poor connectivity meant that children and families were cut off from school, critical public health updates, and the outside world. The Digital Ambassadors worked with Starry Internet, a fixed wireless broadband Internet service provider, and Human-I-T, the social enterprise dedicated to creating equitable online access by providing devices, internet access, digital skills training, and tech support.
The Ambassadors’ next goal is expanding the network of hotspots to ensure a digital mobility that most Angelenos take for granted.