The 3rd Annual Rocket Mortgage Classic is starting in just 3 days!
As I grew up in Detroit and eventually landed a job in the city with Rock Ventures, I began to learn how much Detroit had transformed over the years. One aspect that resonated with me is known as the “digital divide” where a wedge has been unintentionally created for those that do not have access to computers and the internet compared to others that have readily access. While the digital world has exponentially grown throughout the United States, there seemed to be a greater digital divide happening in Detroit.
When the Rocket Mortgage Classic was established in Detroit as a stop on the PGA TOUR, the Rocket Giving Fund created a mission to host the event and simultaneously benefit the Detroit community and local organizations. They launched the Connect 313 Fund which will coordinate a digital inclusion strategy across the city. This year, all net proceeds from the event will support the “Changing the Course” initiative. This initiative will has the goal of “bridging the digital divide,” which means ensuring every Detroit resident has access to the internet, technology, and digital literacy training in the next five years.
Now, before I continue, let’s just put this in perspective. Think about all the ways that you have accessed the internet today.
By 9am, I accessed the internet on my phone, a laptop and an iPad. Almost all my appliances, heating and cooling devices, security system, and garage can be accessed using Wi-Fi. My point is that we need the internet as a necessity now more than ever.
Why is Changing the Course important?
One of the underlying issues in Detroit is that 1 in every 3 homes in the city is without internet access of any type.
Only 20% of Detroit families have internet access using a cell phone. Additionally, 30% of Detroit families do not have internet access in their homes whatsoever.
Without internet access, opportunities fade away, especially when it comes to employment and education. In the year of a pandemic, virtual learning was the only form of education for most kids across the country.
In addition to “Changing the course,” the Area 313 Challenge has been established so that players have the chance to compete on the course on behalf of their favorite Detroit-based charity. The stakes are high for the players as they each will be working towards winning funds for the charities they represent but Rocket Mortgage has pledged to make direct donations during the player charity event! By the way, you might notice a special pin on the players which represents their support for the “Change the Course” initiative. The design of the pin is the letter D with a heart pointing forward.
This represents the tournaments commitment to bridging the digital divide.
I’m honored to be able to attend the Rocket Mortgage Classic and I couldn’t be happier to see that the very company I work for is truly making an impact in the very place I call home. To learn more about the cause and how to donate, please check out: Changing the Course
Heather is a Detroit native and works as the Marketing lead for Opportunity Detroit. She’s a mother of 3, a sneaker aficionado and represents Detroit everywhere that she goes. Follow Heather at @Detroit.Heather