Heroes don’t come better than San Ysidro Schools, Student and Family Services Manager, Veronica Medina. From delivering warm blankets, toys, food and homeless accommodation to support her students and families, Ms Medina is the very definition of hero. It’s no wonder Covid-19 wasn’t going to stop her getting students connected to the Internet either.
“San Ysidro is a bustling border community that forms part of San Diego city, but in many ways feels worlds apart. I grew up here and know the heartbreak firsthand. Internet access and the digital divide was a crisis long before Covid-19, but it hit students and their families here especially hard.” Said Veronica Medina, San Ysidro Schools.
With as many as 1,500 students considered homeless in the San Ysidro School District delivering distance learning is challenging at the least. Many students are living in shelters, campers or RVs and some have been relocated out of junkyards. In some cases when schools is out no one knows where they are, Ms. Medina calls children like these, the “invisible children”.
“I was visiting our San Diego office in late 2019 and read an article about Veronica’s work. I called our CTO, Erik Santiago and we agreed we had to help. Erik organized a meeting a few days later and Veronica’s passion for her kids and community is out of this world. We visited a few locations later that day and it struck me trauma these families must be going through was horrendous.” Said George Kaloudis, C.E.O of Lokket Inc.
The San Ysidro Education Committee and Lokket teamed up to build wireless internet transmission points around San Ysidro that can now support up to 2,000 homes. Working together with the local community the word is getting out that Lokket can now provide Universal Basic Internet for Free direct into student homes. That means no need to hang around school car parks or coffee shops for free WiFi.
“We need our kids to grow up healthy, strong, and ready to tackle the future challenges our community will meet. You can’t do that without an education and no internet access. It’s not just about homework, there is telehealth, services, applying for jobs and staying in touch with loved ones. Lokket is helping us make a much-needed impact.” Said Veronica Medina.
About San Ysidro
The San Ysidro School District is a public school district in San Diego, California supporting 8 schools. The coastal community is located 15 miles south of San Diego City and lies adjacent to the United States-Mexico International Border. Often described as “The Gateway to Mexico,” San Ysidro attracts a tremendous number of tourists annually, making it the busiest border crossing in the world. https://www.sysdschools.org