SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — There’s usually a reward for giving up a week of summer vacation for a school-based camp.
In this case, it’s a free laptop.
That’s the gift to more than 50 students who just wrapped up the inaugural AT&T ‘Cuse Youth Digital Ambassador Program.
The selected students have been impacted by the digital divide, meaning coming from households that can’t access or afford internet or computers.
Watch the moment they find out about the laptops
For many, the device is the first computer they have owned at home.
The program was free and open to Syracuse City School District and city charter schools in grades 5-7.
The week-long program taught the students digital literacy skills, online safety and emerging technologies. Other topics included cybersecurity, robotics building, social media uses, computer coding basics, keyboarding skills, artificial intelligence (AI), media literacy and digital ethics.
The laptop gifts were presented by Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, State Senator Rachel May and State Assemblywoman Pam Hunter.
Participating students were awarded an official AT&T ‘Cuse Youth Digital Ambassador certificate to share their new knowledge within their communities.
An estimated 8,000 students in Syracuse either don’t have computers or internet at home.