Justin Anderson is a student at Logan High School. Last month, he told readers of the Charleston Gazette-Mail why poor internet access is a major problem for young people like him.
I’m a junior in high school, and when I think about the tools I’m going to need to help me succeed in college, one of the most important is having access to the same information as all other American students.
But in West Virginia, our state’s lack of broadband access puts me at a huge disadvantage.
In my life so far, I’ve moved back and forth between West Virginia and North Carolina. Before I moved back here several years ago, things were unsettled in my family — there was a lot of arguing before the divorce. My mother pushes for me, but she isn’t in the best of health, or ahead financially, but she still does everything she can to support me.
My future interests are in the arts — producing music, making TV shows or movies, or drawing fine-arts comics or anime. Broadband Internet access is vital for me, as a student and as a citizen.
My friends and everyone I know in my community would benefit, and in today’s world, to thrive in academics, to gain knowledge, to graduate and to hold up a career or a business, we need that access. How are we going to progress if we don’t have the same opportunities as other young people?
Even just the entire college application process is daunting!
Registering and preparing for the ACT, filling out forms online, finding scholarship opportunities and taking online classes — all these things require adequate Internet access. My entire financial security and career success in the future will depend on my ability to do these things next year.
There are numerous times when I have been put at a disadvantage because of no Internet access. My access to learning has been cut short and has been insufficient in many situations…
…Just because we live in a rural place and have a country lifestyle does not mean we don’t need adequate Internet access. We need to take the weight off of young adults — they already have enough to worry about just with making a consistent grade point average and studying all the time. We don’t want to make college and a good job inaccessible for kids here that have dreams for their future, too.