Local government and private industry unite to provide hot spots, computers and Wi-Fi access to underserved Houston-area students
HOUSTON, TX – Houston-area schools are now closer to bridging the digital divide in classrooms, thanks to a public-private partnership formed by H-E-B, Unilever, T-Mobile and Harris County. The effort will provide connectivity for local students in the area’s most underserved school districts that still lack these technology resources. This provides full access to digital textbooks, virtual classrooms, assignments and additional educational tools.
“We are working through every avenue to ensure all students have the same opportunities for success, no matter their situation or challenges that have arisen during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “This generous donation from HEB, Unilever and T-Mobile is what it looks like when community partners come together for a common good. I’m grateful for their leadership and continued support as we navigate these unprecedented times.”
H-E-B and Unilever, the maker of brands such as Dove and Hellmann’s, each committed $250,000 for a total of $500,000 to help Harris County purchase computers and unlimited hot spot service for two years in partnership with T-Mobile, which is donating connectivity devices through its Project 10 Million.
“We have the ability, therefore the responsibility, to give every student the opportunity and tools to learn,” said Lisa Helfman, public affairs director, H-E-B Houston. “This used to mean traditional school supplies. Today, it’s a device and access to wireless service. Without these tools, it’s literally the difference between children receiving an education and not. This is one of the largest issues presently facing education and we must solve it. We are honored to work with Harris County, Unilever and T-Mobile to build the bridge that connects our students with their learning portals.”
H-E-B spearheaded this public-private partnership and invited Unilever to join the effort to eliminate barriers to digital access. The collaboration is part of Unilever’s “United for America” movement to connect retail partners and nonprofits to help the hardest-hit communities recover, rebuild and reimagine their futures.
“When we launched the first phase of ‘United for America’ in March to support the American people during the coronavirus pandemic, we quickly saw an overwhelming need in communities across the country,” said Stefani Millie Grant, Head of External Affairs, Unilever North America. “For our program’s second phase, we recognized the pandemic is taking a toll on education, and it was important for us to partner with H-E-B and T-Mobile under our ‘United for Houston’ program to equip Harris County students with the essential technology and supplies for the classroom and home. We know that we are stronger together, and we’re proud to unite with other companies to help create more impact.”
Rounding out the quadrant, T-Mobile will support the effort with hot spots and powerful, low-cost access to data through Project 10 Million, its historic nationwide initiative to address remote learning needs that have come to light through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“T-Mobile has a history of working with public and private partners on education initiatives in Harris County and across Texas, but Project 10Million is our biggest and boldest yet,” said Dr. Kiesha Taylor, national education administrator for T-Mobile. “Every single student deserves access to connectivity to participate in virtual learning and keep up with their peers. We are very proud to do our part to open doors to opportunity for the students who need it most.”
About H-E-B
H-E-B, with sales of $28 billion, operates more than 400 stores in Texas and Mexico. Known for its innovation and community service, H-E-B celebrates its 115th anniversary this year. Recognized for its fresh food, quality products, convenient services, and a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, H-E-B strives to provide the best customer experience and lowest prices. Based in San Antonio, H-E-B employs over 120,000 Partners in Texas and Mexico and serves millions of customers in more than 300 communities. For more information, visit HEB.com and HEB.com/Newsroom.
About Unilever
Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. In the United States and Canada, the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, Ben & Jerry's, Breyers, Degree, Dollar Shave Club, Dove, Hellmann's, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Love Beauty and Planet, Magnum, Nexxus, Noxzema, Pond's, Popsicle, Pure Leaf, Q-tips, Seventh Generation, Simple, Sir Kensington's, St. Ives, Suave, Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto, TAZO, TIGI, TRESemmé and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies.
For more information on Unilever U.S. and its brands visit: www.unileverusa.com
For more information on the USLP: www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/

T-Mobile U.S. Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) is America’s supercharged Un-carrier, delivering an advanced 4G LTE and transformative nationwide 5G network that will offer reliable connectivity for all. T-Mobile’s customers benefit from its unmatched combination of value and quality, unwavering obsession with offering them the best possible service experience and undisputable drive for disruption that creates competition and innovation in wireless and beyond. Based in Bellevue, Wash., T-Mobile provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile and Sprint. For more information please visit: http://www.t-mobile.com
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