Digital Network Group (DNG), a company located in the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation’s Technology Assistance Center, and it’s educational outreach program, Kinetic Potential (KP) Scholars, has announced a partnership with Cricket Wireless to provide underprivileged students in the Washington, D.C. area with Internet access and refurbished computers.

The first distribution of the Internet service and computers took place Friday at Hyde Leadership Public Charter School in the District during the KP Scholars end of year celebration. “We just want to recognize the students,” said Jim Smith III, managing partner of DNG. “It’s the end of the school year and they’ve worked really hard. We want to keep encouraging and motivating them to keep going.

Smith came from a similar background to the kids in the program and said it was difficult for him to persevere through the pitfalls of his environment. He says that motivated him to start this program.“I’m from the inner city and I really was thinking about how to help other students emulate the path that I’ve taken,” said Smith. “What it came down to is that we really need to help our students in a holistic way – academic, social and professional development.”

The kids in the KP Scholar program traditionally have been underachievers in the classroom. Smith found that was not a product of capability, but it was a result of focus. “One of the things that we noticed is are not motivated when they come to school,” he said. “By giving them a focus on their long-term goals, everyday now matters in pursuit of those goals. That’s beginning to make things more manageable. We’re really reverse engineering the career-development process.

The Web access will be provided free for a two-year period and the refurbished computers will come at a cost of just $129.

For more information on the program visit


George Barnette

Special to the AFRO