LINK AMERICAS Foundation Announces Winners of the LINK Award

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Leaders to be Recognized at California Digital Access Summit

Each of the award recipients has demonstrated leadership in advancing digital literacy.

The LINK AMERICAS Foundation (LAF) has announced the recipients of the LINK Awards, the foundation’s highest honor in advancing digital literacy. The recognition is awarded annually to four individuals whose outstanding leadership and personal dedication advances "Technology Serving Humanity" in the areas of Life - Information - Network – Knowledge. Honored for achievements in 2013 are: Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Mayor of Winters, California; Gary Page, Consultant at California Department of Education; Jessie J. Knight, Executive Vice President of External Affairs for Sempra Energy; and, Kami Griffith, Executive Director of Community Technology Network in San Francisco.

“Each of the award recipients has demonstrated leadership in advancing digital literacy,” stated Brenda Kempster, CEO of LINK AMERICAS Foundation. “Each of their efforts clearly indicates the importance and integration of digital literacy skills for individuals to access government services, use online services and for important personal needs such as finding a job or accessing health services. We congratulate each of our honorees.”

The LINK Awards will be presented on April 24th, 2014 at the California Digital Access Summit in Sacramento, California. Digital literacy has become an important national topic. LINK AMERICAS Foundation began this quest more than a decade ago, and California became a national leader when the Governor signed an Executive Order for a digital literacy framework and formed the first statewide broadband council. The Summit is an example of how California is leading the way on the trail to digital inclusion for all.

Technology can have a profound impact on a community,” commented Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, recipient in the Life category for expanding broadband and digital literacy access. “There are those who expect it and those who are sitting on the sidelines wanting to participate. Implementation of technology in our schools has had a tremendous impact on our students and families. Nevertheless, once a child or an adult leaves their school or workplace many families do not have the means to afford computers nor access the internet. Rural communities’ challenges are many; however, broadband should not be one of them. If we expect the best for our community, region and nation, policymakers need to eliminate the roadblocks that prevent the closing of the digital divide. I believe that we can do it."

Mr. Gary Page was awarded in the category of Information for his outstanding efforts at the California Department of Education in providing information to school districts and teachers statewide on the importance of digital literacy skills for college and career success for all students. “Students today need digital literacy skills to understand and work with the rapidly emerging and evolving information systems that support how we live and work. Web and mobile technologies are transforming education, and we need to ensure that California’s students have access to well-rounded curriculum to enable them to meet their goals for college and careers,” he stated.

Mr. Jessie J. Knight, Jr. is being recognized in the Network category for his leadership at San Diego Gas & Electric and for supporting JobScout outreach throughout area libraries. JobScout is an online and mobile platform which provides job seekers the internet skills needed to find a job. SDG&E support has helped provide JobScout services in Spanish in the San Diego area. “Our goal at SDG&E is to have a meaningful impact on the community by promoting responsible leadership and the development of leaders who will be the decision makers of tomorrow. Partnering with organizations like JobScout that are engaging the minds of job seekers is extremely important as we prepare San Diego for the future.”

In 2013, 200 Community Technology Network of San Francisco Bay Area volunteer trainers gave 8,000 hours and offered over 11,000 training sessions to help people improve their computer skills. “We love to create opportunities for people to share their skills with others and have seen amazing things happen when learners are given the support they need to cross the digital divide. Thank you LINK AMERICAS Foundation for this recognition and playing a major role in helping underserved people across California get online,” commented Kami Griffith, recipient in the Knowledge Category.

About LINK AMERICAS Foundation
The LINK AMERICAS Foundation is a 501(c) 3 organization that fosters collaborative initiatives demonstrating the value of “technology serving humanity” in the areas of Life, Information, Network, Knowledge (LINK), and leads policy initiatives and programs to advance innovative and web applications in the area of digital literacy – such as the award winning JobScout .

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Jodie Pozo-Olano
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