How Carlos Slim is a Hero in Digital Inclusion

By: David Flores

Acceso Latino Provides Hope for Employment, Education and More
Earlier this year, The Carlos Slim Foundation launched a free website called "" for Latino families and individuals in the United States to be able to use Internet tools to gain free access to education, employment training and healthcare. The website was created to be a commodity to assist with the advancement of minority families and individuals. These families and individuals are able to gain knowledge and skills for a new job to enter their local communities with a better understanding of how they can advance.

The website was a welcomed resource for many unemployed people. More than 80% of adult Latino's have some type of Internet access yet find it difficult to locate employment websites and educational sites that point them in the right direction of finding work. In addition to gaining valuable knowledge and skills, Acceso Latino helps people find information about seeking employment opportunities helping to improve the financial situations of many in the Latino community.

For those interested in higher education, Acceso Latino includes links to educational websites offering free course material and training from colleges and universities like Harvard and Mexico's National University. This provides a great deal of assistance in gaining the necessary certifications and degrees for many positions.

Providing knowledge, skills, employment information, and education resources wasn't enough for entrepreneur Slim. He wanted to help the Latino community in every way. This is why he included links to healthcare resources. This helps people understand the importance of eating a healthy diet, exercising, and seeking annual physicals. Resources to help pay for healthcare costs are also available.

Labor and civil rights information adds even more value to the site. This ensures they understand the law and how it relates to employment and other situations they experience.

Bringing the Internet to Everyone
Known as someone who is constantly looking for opportunities, Carlos Slim did not stop at Acceso Latino. Recognizing nearly 1 out of every 5 American citizens are unable to access the Internet due to economic barriers, he decided to take his digital inclusion agenda to a new level of creativity to be able to adequately disperse Internet access to millions of homes nationwide.

For almost two years, the website, with leadership from the Carlos Slim Foundation, has set up a new program for children in grades kindergarten through 12th grade called Connect2Compete. Partnering with community cable companies Mediacom, Cox, SuddenLink, Comcast and Bright House Media, the program is able to provide Internet access at reduced cost to families that are living below the poverty line and qualify for the national School Lunch Program. The program also allows many families to be exempt from paying deposits, installation fees, modem fees or having to sign a long term contract for service. Customers that are on the Connect2Compete program have the option to purchase Internet-ready devices like tablets for less than $100 and laptops for less than $200. Internet connectivity is offered at $10 per month.

Praise from the Tech Industry
Providing services to individuals in financial need is looked upon favorably in the tech industry. Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple spoke highly of Slim. He acknowledged his success in providing education to people who wouldn't have been able to get it because of not being able to afford Internet access. With Wozniak's support as well as the Internet providers that are part of the Connect2Compete program, Slim has helped launch a resourceful website and program that's not only helpful but encouraged by many in the industry.

Taking His Success to Help Others Succeed
As a man who has built his philanthropy beyond successful levels, he has now taken his savvy marketing and communication skills to unleash a whirlwind of educational power to millions of impoverished children and families who may now be able to get themselves out of a life of poverty. Digital inclusion is well on its way to reaching the masses. When it does, the world can thank Carlos Slim, the technological leader, for his ingenuity and success driven mind that has worked hard to help those that are less financially fortunate than others in the world.

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David Flores is a freelance writer who focuses on digital technologies, internet inclusion, and online education.

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