DETROIT – Verizon has awarded a $100,000 grant to the Mercy Education Project to provide digital literacy, STEM education and technology-related workforce development opportunities in under-resourced communities.

This is part of Verizon’s commitment to increase digital inclusion nationwide by removing the barriers to economic prosperity and ensuring the benefits of technology are accessible to everyone.

MEP is adding digital literacy skills to their students’ toolkits through computer basics skills training and more. The two-year digital learning grant from Verizon will help MEP develop a project to support technology and workforce development through the Verizon Digital Opportunity Program and Learning Lab, increasing economic mobility in communities of greatest need.

“This grant will provide digital technology and workforce development skills to under-served girls, women, their families and the community in Detroit,” says Heidi Raubenolt, LMSW, who joined MEP as executive director in September 2019. “As an organization, we recognize the socioeconomic-related digital gap in southwest Detroit. This partnership will bring us one step closer to bridging this divide for our students.”

According to Donna Cupelo, region vice president of State Government Affairs at Verizon, the organization wants its next-generation networks and related technologies to have a meaningful and forward-looking impact as it works to help prepare the nation and society for social and economic success in the coming decade.

“We’re proud and excited to partner with organizations including Mercy Education Project,” Cupelo said. “With this grant, Verizon and Mercy Education Project want to help offer new and enhanced digital access that will lead to new and exciting life-changing skills in technology — opportunities and programs that will help close social disparities, enhance and improve workforce readiness for Americans of all ages and so much more.”

Since it was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in Detroit in 1992, MEP has served more than 3,500 girls and women, empowering them through educational opportunities, life skills development and cultural enrichment to help them improve their lives.  MEP provides intensive, one-on-one tutoring, college readiness, STEM summer camp, GED preparation, workforce development and transportation – guiding approximately 250 girls and women annually toward academic excellence and a successful future.

For more information about the Mercy Education Project, click on