She was recognized for her significant contribution to the historical documentation of her community and for her drawing abilities in figurative works, charcoal, and other types of art. Brenda De Flanders is noted for her creation of abstract art.

But those are not the only qualities that set Brenda apart from the competition, particularly her efforts on behalf of the San Diego branch of the Malcolm X Community Library, of which she is happy to be a part.

However, this talented educator and artist has not always had it easy; to get where she is now, she had to overcome many challenges.

Her Testimony on How She Maintained Communication with Her Loved Ones During the COVID-19 Pandemic

“It was very important for me to be able to communicate with my friends and family (during the pandemic) since I couldn’t go outside because of respiratory problems,” but it was hard to get used to communicating through the phone, she said.

Two obstacles presented themselves during her times of need for communication: the old and slow computer that she got in 2008, and her lack of experience in traveling through the internet”, but both tools needed to be incorporated into her daily life, “a new world for me, I was very scared in those hard times,” she said.

However, De Flanders stated that the benefits of using ‘tablets’ or ‘notebooks’ and PCs are priceless, unfortunately, many people don’t have them or simply they don’t know how to use them, she said, “but I encourage my friends to take advantage of technology (digital)”.

Brenda De Flanders testimony was used at the FCC press conference. It was George Starks, who visited the City of San Diego to announce the federal program, “Your Home, Your Internet”.

“I’m excited that the FCC, through this program, will help the San Diego Housing Commission” (SDHC), “in their efforts to raise awareness and enroll in the Affordable Connectivity Program and help connect its residents to the internet.”

“ A Guarantee That People Will Not Stay Behind in the Digital Era”

The federal official went on to say that this funding "will help ensure that eligible low-income households in San Diego don't get left behind in the digital era and have access to all of an internet connection's benefits."

Starks also noted that the FCC's selection of SHDC is one among the 23 public housing agencies in the country that benefited from the national program.

He pointed out in the press conference that this will bring, "opportunities for everyone in the 21st century, strengthening the economy, jobs, education for children and adults, and the health care they require”.

“The good news is that help is on the way, as Congress approved” (to mid-November 2021, “about 14 billion from the Program of Accessible Connectivity (ACP), which reduces the cost of the internet at $30 for each qualified applicant. Which means that for many the connection is going to be free,” he explained.

It is worth mentioning that the visit of the federal official was to confirm that SDHC "will receive a more than $230,000 grant", which was issued in a statement by the FCC, this grant ensures and “supports the creation of awareness, the disclosure of information and help for households to apply for the program.”

It was also specified in this sense that it "provides households with an eligible discount of up to $30 per month for Internet service and a one-time discount of up to $100 to buy a laptop, desktop or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.”

Moreover, the president of the San Diego City Council and Vice President from SANDAG, Sean-Elo Rivera recalled that “earlier this year”, (the aldermen represented on the San Diego Council), “unanimously declared that housing is a human right.”

Additionally, "Internet access is also a human right, but often, it does not receive enough attention. The COVID-19 pandemic made clear the fundamental role that internet connection plays in our lives.”

The also a representative of the Council of District 9, to which the Crest Seniors Apartment Units belong, and where Brenda De Flanders has resided for more than a decade, stated that "Internet service allowed us to stay connected with family, friends and work.”

"However, others were not so lucky," acknowledged the San Diego City Council President.” And he pointed out: "It seems to me unacceptable and unsustainable, especially since the Internet was born in California."

“This $230,000 FCC grant will provide more internet access to San Diego in the form of high-speed broadband. It also brings us closer to ending the digital divide in our communities”, stressed Rivera.

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