Mission Viejo City Hall located across from the public library. Katarina De Almeida/Lariat
Mission Viejo City Council held a virtual Zoom meeting on Nov. 10 and Mayor Brian Goodell started by recognizing their partner in education, Cox Communications.
The company was founded by James Middleton Cox, “a former teacher whose legacy of supporting local education lives on in the company and among its employees,” Goodell said. This company has also been supporting the community for 20 years through grants and scholarships for students.
“As schools and students had to switch to distance learning in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cox provided up to four months of free internet service through Connect2Compete, so that students without internet access at home can finish the school year online, ” Goodell said.
Kristen Camuglia, the director of government affairs for Cox California, also spoke on Cox’s founder’s public service and other company solutions.
“He was also a dedicated public servant,” Camuglia said. “He was a United States representative at the House of Representatives, he was a three-term Ohio governor, and because it’s fitting, especially this week, I will just mention that in 1920, a hundred years ago, he ran for president of the United States.”
Cox has provided students with wifi and hotspots for distance learning along with their low-cost internet services for free.
“Any new customer who qualifies for that service before the end of this year can still get that service for free for two additional months,” Camuglia said.
The internet speed has conveniently been doubled for students as they all log-in online throughout the pandemic.
Cox has also contributed $200,000 to a local non-profit called Computers 2 Kids, providing low-income students with what they need to get through the school year at home. They also collect old and outdated electronics at their Cox Solutions store off Pacific Park Drive and La Paz Road in Laguna Niguel, where devices are refurbished and given back to the community. Cox charities have also donated $15,000 to both the Capistrano and Saddleback Valley Unified School District, aiding in purchasing Chromebooks that schools are distributing to students during the pandemic.
The company has consistently worked closely with school districts and just recently launched the Cox CARES Act Solutions for Education, which will include new services for students. Cox’s President, Pat Esser, committed to an additional $60 million to help bridge the digital divide over the next year. Camuglia also shared that Cox is offering Mission Viejo, a Cox sponsored tech center, to support recreation and library programs.