Over a decade ago, Comcast launched Internet Essentials, a program to assist low-income families connect to the internet and help bridge the growing digital divide. Since 2011, we’ve connected more than 10 million people to low-cost internet at home. Internet Essentials is part of Project UP, Comcast’s comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help build a future of Unlimited Possibilities. Through Project UP, we are committing $1 billion over the next 10 years to reach tens of millions of people.
Internet Essentials is powered by over 3,000 ambassadors – employees from across our company who volunteer their time to help close the digital divide and provide more people with access to the power of the internet and digital skills. Every year, four ambassadors, one per division and one from headquarters, are recognized for their dedication to connecting their communities. We are thrilled to spotlight Shante Robinson, the 2023 Internet Essentials Ambassador of the Year for the Big South Region.
Shante Robinson started her career at Comcast over 20 years ago as a residential representative and has been part of the Comcast Business team for the last eight years. She says her various roles at the company have helped her career and as an ambassador as she’s seen so many different aspects of Comcast.
Shante has been an Internet Essentials Ambassador since 2020. Being able to bring her work life and her passion for community involvement drew her to the ambassador program. Shante has been a softball coach for the last four years, and a serendipitous moment on the ballfield led her to seek more information on becoming an Internet Essentials Ambassador. Robinson said, “I told one of my players that she was late to practice, and she told me she had to go to the library after school and that’s why she was running behind. I asked if it was for a special project, and she said, ‘No, coach, that’s where I get the internet.’ I was in coach mode and continued with practice. Then it dawned on me and I stopped in my tracks. One of my girls didn’t have internet at home, but I could do something about it.”
Shante sought advice from one of her mentors, Lisa Walker, Senior Manager of External Affairs. Lisa showed Shante the ropes and got her into the Internet Essentials Ambassadors program, where she received resources and training to help advance digital equity in her community. Robinson hosted a seminar for all the parents from her softball team and helped them sign up for affordable internet access. This event kicked off Shante’s internet connectivity ambassadorship. Over the years, she’s been able to assist many community members by participating in Project UP events. Along with other ambassadors, Shante has packed lunches for people experiencing homelessness in conjunction with 100 Black Men of Atlanta. Robinson also assisted in an Atlanta Public School event where 500 laptops, self-install kits and internet were gifted to students.
For people looking to make a difference in their communities, Robinson’s advice is to remember, “Just because it isn’t your struggle, doesn’t mean it isn’t a struggle.” This motto has been central to Shante’s dedication to helping those around her.
Coming full circle, Shante’s mentor Lisa Walker nominated her to be an Ambassador of the Year. Lisa said, “When we do events, Shante’s everywhere. She’s in touch with the participants and all of the vendors. She’s just a very passionate leader and that’s why I nominated her.”
Being named an Internet Essentials Ambassador of the Year enables Shante to do even more in her community. Comcast will donate a $10,000 grant to a non-profit of Shante’s choosing as part of her recognition. Robinson has many causes that are dear to her heart so she has not decided where the funds will go. However, she’s happy that her work as an ambassador keeps paying forward. Shante said, “The Internet Essentials Ambassador program is so powerful. We’re in a position to do life-changing things.”