Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and officials with Los Angeles Community College District and the Annenberg Foundation announced a “Connect to Success” program Tuesday that will provide free laptops to every first-year student participating in the L.A. College Promise program.

“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,” Garcetti said. “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.”

Thanks to a donation, Connect to Success will supply up to 6,000 students in this year’s incoming class of L.A. College Promise students with a free refurbished laptop. Participants will be 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.

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

Since its inception, the College Promise program has helped more than 15,000 students across the city, according to the mayor’s office. The program provides free tuition for one year and priority enrollment at LACCD’s nine colleges.

“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, 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.”

The refurbished laptops are provided by human-I-T, a nonprofit that focuses on “bridging the digital divide.”

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