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UScellular donates $86,000 in wireless hotspots and service to YWCA Knoxville & the Tennessee Valley

June 7, 2022

Seth Naekel and Shelby Kleiner hold hotspots donated by UScellular as part of the After School Access Project.

To help provide equitable learning and keep local youth connected, UScellular has donated 75 wireless hotspots and two years of service to YWCA Knoxville & the Tennessee Valley as part of the After School Access Project, which provides assistance to nonprofits that support youth with safe internet access for homework and education. The donation provides a total value of $86,000 for the organization.

“The success of students in the communities we serve is important to us at UScellular,” said Thomas White, director of sales for East Tennessee. “Connecting people and communities is our mission and the After School Access Project is just one way that we’re helping ensure students have the reliable access they need to grow and pursue their dreams.”

Through the After School Access Project, the company has pledged to donate up to $13 million in hotspots and service to help up to 50,000 youth connect to reliable internet in its markets. To date, the company has donated more than 3,800 hotspots, a value of $3.7 million, to its communities through this initiative. Eligible 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations can apply at

With a mission to eliminate racism and empower women, YWCA Knoxville & the Tennessee Valley has been a leading force of community change since 1899. The organization serves six East Tennessee counties with academic enrichment, youth leadership training, violence prevention, housing and services for victims of domestic violence. YWCA’s Phyllis Wheatley Center serves hundreds of middle and high school youth through innovative, life-changing after-school and summer programs.

“The students we serve are among Knoxville’s most vulnerable and are oftentimes low-income and at high risk for dropping out of school,” said Rachel Haverkamp, CEO of YWCA Knoxville & the Tennessee Valley. “Access to the internet creates opportunities for educational success and a chance to improve our neighborhoods and communities. Our organization will use the hotspots to support on-site programming, create opportunities for off-site learning and exploration and support students’ independent and group work at home.”

Hotspots are stand-alone Wi-Fi networks that can connect several devices at once wirelessly and have proven to be a vital tool for youth to access the internet, study and complete homework. The hotspots provided through After School Access Project connect to UScellular’s network to provide high-speed connectivity for youth throughout East Tennessee.

UScellular is focused on addressing gaps in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and is committed to connecting more than 200,000 of tomorrow’s innovators each year with the resources they need today to help shape future opportunities. Since 2009, UScellular has donated nearly $21.4 million along with countless experiences and technology items to nonprofits across the country. For more information about the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, please go to

About UScellular

UScellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier provides a strong, reliable network supported by the latest technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. To learn more about UScellular, visit one of its retail stores or To get the latest news, visit Connect with UScellular on social media at,,, and