The Need: The San Joaquin Valley faces significant barriers to technology that impede the growth and development of low-income families and perpetuate poverty across the 8 county region. Equitable access to and participation in the global digital economy is essential for success in contemporary life. Yet, no organization in the San Joaquin Valley currently addresses the need to reduce the digital divide, the disparity between people who have access to technology and those who don’t. Often San Joaquin Valley communities and individuals find themselves at different levels of readiness in their ability to access and use the internet and utilizing a range of digital technologies, hardware, software and digital content.

Refurbishing Computers-Refreshing Potential

A Solution: Computer refurbishing, when combined with digital literacy and high-speed internet adoption, is the most effective response to San Joaquin Valley’s digital disparity and the demand for digital inclusion. Fresno State REFRESH and its collaborative partners will provide San Joaquin Valley families the opportunity to obtain computers, software, training and support, at a low- or no-cost. This in turn will help families become computer literate and increase their access to current technology. The Fresno State REFRESH program seeks to receive computer systems and electronic devices from members of the community and from corporate donors/partners.

Goal: Fresno State REFRESH program aims to collect, recycle and refurbish used computers and deliver them to San Joaquin Valley low-income families. The success of the program will be measured by the number of donated computer systems collected, refurbished and repurposed to families in need. The Fresno State REFRESH program will strive to help reduce the digital divide in the 8-county region of the San Joaquin Valley, one computer at a time.

-Addresses the problem of digital access for underserved populations by extending computer lifespans
-Provides functioning refurbish computers to individuals without access
-Provides job training to youth and unemployed adults that leads to a technical certification
-Mentor young people or assist older adults trying to learn computer skills to enhance employment opportunities
-Reduce landfill e-waste