Mayor Garcetti launches ‘Connect to Success’ to provide free laptops to LA College Promise students

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today was joined by the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), the Annenberg Foundation, through its AnnenbergTech initiative, and other partners to launch ‘Connect to Success’ — a new program to provide free laptops to every first-year student participating in LA’s College Promise.

“Our city is at its best when we empower our young people with every opportunity to expand their knowledge, prepare for a fulfilling career, contribute to our communities, and strengthen our economy,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Our job is to knock down any hurdles standing between our students and their dreams — and that means sparing them the expense of a tuition bill, connecting them to the classroom on public transit, and giving them a reliable computer to do homework, make their grades, and prepare for the future.”

Through a partnership with philanthropic donors, Connect to Success will supply up to 6,000 students in this year’s incoming class of LA College Promise students with a free refurbished laptop. Participants are able to keep the devices throughout their studies as long as they are fully-enrolled College Promise students, and after their successful completion of the program.

Earlier this year, the Mayor also launched the DASH to Class initiative, providing free transportation on LADOT DASH buses for all LACCD and LAUSD students.

"The laptops are fundamental tools for higher education success. We are giving our LA College Promise students access to the technology they need to achieve their goals," said LACCD Chancellor Francisco C. Rodriguez, Ph.D.

Connect to Success builds on the Mayor’s historic establishment of LA College Promise, one of the largest municipal free college access programs in the nation, bringing a college diploma within reach for all students in Los Angeles. Spurred by conversations with students, Mayor Garcetti announced a commitment to provide free laptops to the incoming class of College Promise students in his 2019 State of the City address.  

When College Promise started, it offered one year of tuition-free education to all recent LAUSD graduates attending L.A. community colleges full-time — through an unprecedented partnership between the Mayor's Office, LACCD, LAUSD, the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. Since its inception, the program has extended opportunity to more than 15,000 students across L.A. This effort was so successful that the City extended it to a second year, with the support of the State, which expanded tuition-free community college to students throughout California.

“We can’t expect students to stay engaged in learning if they don’t have the proper tools to support their education,” said Wallis Annenberg, Chairman, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation. “Providing access to laptops is vitally important and can certainly help set the stage for a student’s successful college career and beyond.”

Refurbished laptops are provided by human-I-T, a nonprofit that focuses on bridging the digital divide.

In addition to the Annenberg Foundation, funding for Connect to Success comes from the Boston Consulting Group Digital Ventures (BCGDV), California Emerging Technology Fund, Musk Foundation, Eytan Elbaz, Google, Jam City, Magic Johnson Enterprises, Soylent, Tala, and UPS.

ABOUT THE ANNENBERG FOUNDATION
The Annenberg Foundation is a family foundation that provides funding and support to nonprofit organizations in the United States and globally. Since 1989, it has generously funded programs in education and youth development; arts, culture and humanities; civic and community life; health and human services; and animal services and the environment. To learn more about the Annenberg Foundation and their various initiatives, click here.