Working Together to Build Stronger Communities
At Comcast, we’re not afraid to tackle some of society’s toughest challenges. All year long, our passionate employees and incredible nonprofit partners collaborate to create opportunities for more individuals and communities to thrive. Together, we’re removing barriers to success so everyone can live up to his or her fullest potential.
As a new year begins, we reflect below on some of the people and partners from 2019 who illustrate the positive difference we continue to try to make in the lives of millions of people every day.
The Internet is arguably the biggest technological innovation in history. At Comcast, we are committed to making sure it is within everyone’s reach. In large part, we do this by increasing technology access and investing in digital literacy, awareness, and training. What’s more, in 2019, we announced the largest ever expansion of our Internet Essentials program, which has now connected more than 8 million people to low-cost, high-speed Internet at home, most for the very first time. Among those now connected is Franklin James, of Spokane, Washington. Franklin receives support from a community nonprofit, Goodwill Industries, which helps people with disabilities find employment through job training. One of our thousands of vital community partners, Goodwill Industries helped Franklin complete an IT support professional certification program, which led to a job for him with Bank of America.
Every year, we demonstrate our belief in the value of service by investing in City Year and the young people who commit a year to helping students in our most challenged neighborhoods. We are also focused on helping these students build digital skills that are increasingly vital to their career success. One of the City Year AmeriCorps members leading the way this year is Julie Cusano, one of hundreds of young people who are serving on Comcast NBCUniversal-sponsored teams and collectively volunteered more than 200,000 hours last school year helping children. Currently based in Manchester, N.H., Julie and her Comcast-sponsored City Year team brought the FIRST LEGO League robotics program to their school. The year-long program introduced students at Northwest Elementary School to coding and how those skills are used in different jobs. Following the success of the program, she saw an opportunity to expand it to her fourth and fifth grade students, which led to a weekly “Hour of Code Club.” Through the coding club, Julie helped the school add more than 90 hours of additional coding experiences in just a few months.
Through a competitive grant program called Project Innovation, NBCUniversal is addressing local community issues by advancing innovative solutions in the areas of storytelling, community engagement, culture of inclusion, and youth education. In 2019, the NBCUniversal Foundation awarded $2.5 million through the program to nonprofits in 11 NBC and Telemundo owned television station cities. One of those nonprofits is Miami’s Urgent Inc., which is using the grant to bolster a program that teaches teenagers about careers in creative and tech industries. The goal is to help give students a competitive advantage and, ultimately, to break out of poverty. Among those teenagers is Martin Eugene, whose time as a Media Arts intern working alongside film editors allowed him to break out of his shell and learn about potential career paths such as being a videographer or a producer.
Our employees are passionate about making a positive difference in their communities. Whether it’s by volunteering, serving on nonprofit boards, or donating to causes important to them through our annual Employee Giving Campaign. Michael Hewitt, an Atlanta-based operations and engineering leader at Comcast, is committed to helping homeless youth as a board member of Covenant House Georgia. Those youth include Jordan, who grew up in an abusive home, and Nacole, whose parents told her to leave when she told them she was gay. Determined to help young people like Jordan and Nacole, last fall Michael stepped up to help drive the success of our Employee Giving Campaign, which generated $10 million that will support more than 8,000 nonprofit organizations all across the country.