About Our Project
As the COVID-19 Pandemic gripped the Nation, a common word was given an entirely new meaning and weight
Essential workers carried on in the face of contagious, life-threatening disease. Essential businesses remained open while others shut their doors, sometimes forever. Essential Services were those things we needed to maintain our society, despite the challenges posed by the virus. Internet access was given the distinction of an essential service by the Federal government, but for many areas throughout Florida this vital connection to the outside world remains out of reach.
As public schools closed and distance learning became the default access to education for millions of students, school districts struggled to provide and many communities faced limited options on how to provide access for their children. Education professionals and pundits nationwide warned of a "widening gap" in the education level between students with and without access to technology. Our vision is to help small communities in Florida provide this vital, essential public service to their citizens
Building on a project already started by the City of Okeechobee by City Administrator and mentor for the FELI Class of 2021, Marcos Montes De Oca, PE, our goal is to identify approximately seven additional locations for solar powered cellular public WiFi hotspots focusing on parks and recreation areas in low income communities. Over the course of the year our class members will identify potential locations for the towers, work with local government officials to secure access and permitting, purchase, and install the equipment. As additional funds are raised through donations and community events, additional locations will be chosen. Follow our News and Events page for up to date information on locations and fundraising goals!
If you know a community in need that could benefit from this program please contact us through social media