Hillside is a part of the communities we serve. Through the services we provide, youth and families are empowered to achieve the stronger futures they deserve. Their successes benefit us all—which makes community partnerships particularly invaluable in helping our programs do even more for those in need.

Our current focus on digital equity is an excellent example of a serious community challenge that requires our attention—and we can’t do it alone.

Among its many impacts, the COVID-19 pandemic made the longstanding issue of digital inequity much worse for students and families across the country and close to home. In Syracuse, for instance, nearly a quarter of residents have no dependable Internet access—compromising their ability to complete schoolwork, apply for jobs, and advance professionally in a world increasingly defined by digital standards. (For more background, please read this article from Hillside’s most recent Impact Report.)

In the regions we serve, students in our Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection program have been among the hardest-hit by this issue. The situation for our HWSC students has started to change through an ongoing philanthropic appeal, and thanks to donors in Syracuse and Rochester including Northwestern Mutual, the Paychex Charitable Foundation, the Central New York Community Foundation, The Green Family Foundation and Berkshire Bank Foundation. These donations will help increase digital capacity for the young people in our programs—supporting their ability to engage online in ways that help them succeed today and prepare for tomorrow.

The entire Hillside family is grateful to our lead donors in this effort, but more support is needed. With increased digital access, young people and families will be better able to achieve academic and professional success. But first, they need help from us—from all of us.

Supporting Hillside represents an investment in our community. I hope you’ll consider making a gift to Hillside today, and becoming a partner in our work.

As always, thank you for your commitment to Hillside’s mission!

Maria Cristalli
President & CEO

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