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College students in Imperial Valley lack home internet


EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - College students around the country are going back to school virtually.

Throughout this pandemic, there has been much debate about whether or not all students are being supported.

According to the Pew Research Center, many low-income Americans lack internet access because they cannot afford the monthly bills that come with connecting a computer to high-speed internet.

In rural communities like Imperial County, that problem is prevalent.

Imperial valley college serves over 8 thousand students alone and that number isn’t counting the amount of students that are home from universities around the country. 

“As many as 20 percent of students are having some sort of trouble getting the technology they need whether it’s umm they’re writing term papers on their phones because their self plan maybe the only way they can access the internet or they say they have access and they’re sitting in a McDonald’s parking lot,” said Julie Peller, executive director of Higher Learning Advocates.

“So we’ve been advocating for uhh congress to support the colleges to support internet access as well as computers and other necessary technology.”

A lot of students who are struggling with accessing internet may not be vocal about their struggle 

Often it’s the faculty member who sees that a student is struggling that they may be either in this environment not attending class or continually turning things In late and faculty members play a critical role on asking hey is there something else going on here this isn’t this might not only be about the course content but might be that student hasn’t eaten or doesn’t have a safe space to sleep 

The non profit has been advocating on a federal level for policy makers to listen to students and their needs

Many counties in California have been creating hotspots for students to have access to free internet 

Imperial Valley College has been helping low income students in the area by providing them with free internet for 60 days. 

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Gianella Ghiglino

Peruvian-born and LA raised Gianella Ghiglino joins the team from the San Fernando valley. “LA is the place that taught me how to breath and Peru is my breath.” She says she was inspired by the community she grew up in and began documenting her experience through poetry at the age of 7. “I wrote about everything I saw, felt and everything that inspired me.” When she entered High School she joined her school news station and realized that broadcast journalism allowed her to pursue her passion and her purpose all at once. Gianella attended Cal State Northridge and received a Bachelors degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish Broadcast Journalism, and Political Science. She did several internships while in College but most notably interned for PBS’s local LA station for three years. “My purpose is to share my story and of those in my community, my passion is writing.”


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