Jessica's Take

New School for Arts and Sciences
12th grade

At HarlemLive, we have access to the Internet and are able to learn about computers. HarlemLive reaches out to Black and Latino youths that do not have access to the Internet. It provides a place where Black and Latino youths can learn about where we live and the issues that affect us.

However, many of the Black and Latino youths don't have access to the Internet or even to computers. One of the main reasons is the lack of money. Many of the parents can't afford to have a computer and they can't afford to have it updated or even buy programs for it. Others simply can't pay for the Internet access. Another reason is the lack of information. I live in the Bronx and many of the schools have computers that are obsolete or the school doesn't have Internet access. Most schools just teach word processing programs and nothing else. The library where we live has Internet access, but does not have a workshop to teach the kids how to use the Internet. Many of them can't search and don't know how to use a Web address. Many colleges take applications through the Internet, but because many of the Black and Latino youths do not have access, they cannot take advantage of this. On many of the applications an e-mail address is asked for. Many of us do not have e-mail addresses and therefore information reaches us later.

I don't think it is fair that not all students have rapid access to information. All schools should have the Internet. I also think the schools and the library should offer a class or workshop for students to learn about the Internet. The Digital Divide is something that affects all Blacks and Latinos closely. It separates many of us from the rest of the world. I don't believe that there should be people who live deprived of the information that could help them. The Internet is a very resourceful tool that can help with your homework or help you find a job. I don't think it's fair that only certain groups of people have access and others don't because of circumstance. I believe everyone should have access to the Internet and technology. It is very important because technology and the Internet are the future.