Digital Connectors Program Focuses Service Efforts, Solidifies Goals

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Digital Connectors Program Focuses Service Efforts, Solidifies Goals
Anton Barbone ’23

The City of Raleigh’s Digital Connectors Program connects and mentors students who, like Anton Barbone ’23, are committed to bridging the digital divide.


Raven Anton Barbone ’23 has always been interested in technology. Here, he shares how a City of Raleigh program has provided a way for him to connect with other students in the area who share his interests while also engaging in meaningful service to the community.

Throughout all of high school, one of the things I wanted to do most for a service activity was to teach older people about technology, like how to use an iPhone, how to use the internet or basic things that most teenagers know how to do. While COVID may have put a stop to my goals of helping out older people, in June of 2022 I came across a program that seemed close enough: the City of Raleigh’s Digital Connectors Program, which is aimed at bridging the digital divide — the gap in the community for access to technology resources. 

Participation in the program was really enjoyable! It allowed me to connect with people I had never met before from other schools in Raleigh. Our activities were super-helpful, like creating a resume and a LinkedIn profile, doing a mock interview and doing community service, either for the community by giving Raleigh residents computers or refurbishing computers at the Kramden Institute in Durham. 

A grid of photos showing members of the Digital Connectors program, a program description and a photo of Anton

Clockwise from top: Members of the 2022-23 Digital Connectors Program; a program description from the most recent Connectors brochure; Anton Barbone ’23 heading into a meeting with the group.

Because the program introduced me to the Kramden Institute, as part of my work in outreach with the Robotics team, I decided to run a computer donation drive in December of 2022, where all of the computers donated would go to the Kramden Institute. From there, those computers would be given to those in need of computers, such as students who may not be able to afford a computer or through programs like the Digital Connectors that give them to members of the community.

Although I will be in Boston next year at Northeastern University, I will still be a part of Raleigh’s digital inclusion efforts through the Digital Ambassadors, the next step after Digital Connectors Program that provides learning and collaboration opportunities for Connectors alumni who are committed to working for digital inclusion. 

Anyone interested in participating in the Digital Connectors Program can fill out the interest form, and you can contact me if you have any questions about the program!