Education plays a significant role in preparing students for career and financial opportunities in the future. At Intuit, we believe addressing inequality in the classroom today helps expand possibilities for job and financial opportunities in the future. Our Prosperity Hub program partners with school districts to develop the next generation of students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed by providing financial and career readiness programs.
However, in an increasingly digital world, there is a divide between students who have sufficient access to computers and internet access and those who do not. The increased shift to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic shined a spotlight on the digital divide.
- The United Nations Children’s Fund estimates 33% (463 million) of children worldwide lack access to the tools needed for remote learning
- 36% of low-income parents reported their children were unable to complete their schoolwork at home because they lacked access to a computer compared to just 14% of middle-income and 4% of upper-income
- 40% of low-income parents reported their children having to use public Wi-Fi to finish schoolwork because there is not a reliable internet connection at home compared to just 13% of middle-income and 6% of upper-income
For those who lack the necessary resources, this negatively impacts their ability to prosper in the classroom, thus also affecting their future job and financial opportunities. A study by The Quello Center at Michigan State University (MSU) and Merit Network found that students who do not have access to the Internet from home perform lower on a range of metrics, including digital skills, homework completion, and grade point average and are less likely to complete a college or university degree.
Our commitment to preparing students for a prosperous future
At Intuit, maker of TurboTax, QuickBooks, and Mint, we believe that ALL students should have access to quality career readiness programs because that will lead to more equitable access to economic opportunity.
That’s why our Prosperity Hub School District Program focuses on addressing inequality in education for underserved students. We believe addressing inequality in the classroom today helps expand possibilities for job and financial opportunities in the future. In these programs:
- Students are provided access to free courses, content, competitions, and classroom mentors to help them build the 21st-century skills needed to compete for jobs. 75% of students who participate report strong confidence in the skills they develop.
- Teachers are provided access to professional development to gain experience and confidence in teaching skills such as entrepreneurship and personal finance. 80% of teachers who participate report strong confidence in teaching these critical skills.
- Administrators are provided access to training on the same methodologies used by the most innovative companies to address their most significant challenges and create a more effective learning environment.
In addition, we’ve pledged over $1,000,000 USD as a starting investment to help over 1,500,000 students in need across 20 cities and nine countries where Intuit has offices around the world to help close the growing educational gap due to the digital divide.
Here are three ways that you can help close the gap and increase job readiness:
Your time, energy, and expertise can go a long way in helping your community. Participate in your school’s career days or become a mentor for students at your local high school. Volunteer in your school’s computer lab or sign up as a teacher’s assistant. Get involved in organizing school fundraising activities. Contact your local school or school district to learn about volunteer opportunities in your area.
If you are looking to provide a financial donation, reach out to your school district or local non-profits serving your area. You can also donate to organizations like Chiefs for Change, who believe that every child must have access to an excellent education. If you work at a company, check to see if there is an employee-matching program, or if they are willing to donate surplus supplies to schools.
To learn more about how charitable giving impacts your taxes, visit the TurboTax blog.
In addition to lending your time and money, you can lend your voice. The changes necessary for educational equity are only possible when we call for them in unison. Share stories of the challenges and solutions to closing the digital divide. Support national organizations, like Chiefs for Change, and community-based organizations advocating for policies that make a difference for students. Contact your elected officials to call for increased education funding on behalf of your local schools.
Every student deserves the chance to prosper, and together, we can help close the digital divide and better prepare students for the future.