New HISD partnership provides vulnerable students with handheld internet access

Houston ISD is teaming up with T-Mobile and Premier Wireless to equip 1,000 unaccompanied and unhoused students in the District with CPR3 smartphones, specifically designed to increase student safety and educational success by providing immediate access to critical resources.

The project launched Wednesday, May 29, at HISD’s Cornerstone Sunrise Center with a panel discussion led by Najah Callander, HISD Sr. Executive Director of External Engagement.

“Today’s conversation with thought leaders highlighted the need for our most vulnerable students to have access to connectivity and fundamental resources,” said Callander. “I am grateful for the partnership and look forward to our students getting what they need to be successful.”

The panel, made up of representatives from T-Mobile, Premier, and HISD’s homeless and foster care teams, introduced the Connecting People to Resources (CPR3) initiative and discussed ways to support students experiencing homelessness through technology.

“It is crucial for the success of underprivileged students to have 5G connected smartphones and essential learning tools,” said David Bezzant, Vice President of T-Mobile for Government. “Our collaboration with HISD and Premier Wireless is vital for providing HISD students with greater opportunities to engage in their education and community, and we’re thrilled to be part of this.”

“When you’re homeless, connectivity is vitally important,” said Lea Bogle, Premier Wireless President and CEO. “We need to think in our country that connectivity is as essential as air and water.”

The initiative goes beyond internet access. Each smartphone comes with nationwide 5G service as well as connection to vital resources including food pantries, legal and financial assistance, housing, transportation, childcare, healthcare and benefits programs, crisis hotlines, and more.

This wide range of support is intended to support students’ well-being and development, ultimately keeping them safe, in school, and able to fully participate in school activities.

The CPR3 partnership is another component to HISD’s Student Continuum of Care model, offering reimagined comprehensive services to support the whole student. Learn more here.

Learn more about HISD’s Sunrise Centers here. For more information on the District’s many valuable community partnerships, visit the Community Partnerships Department webpage.