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The Homework Gap Is Something Many Ignore, But Prince Royce Is Working To Bring Awareness To This Issue

Prince Royce can’t remember the last time he read a newspaper or picked up a book. But it’s not because the bachata superstar lacks enthusiasm for reading — far from it. The Bronx native gets all his news and literature digitally.

Sunday night at the Conga Room in Los Angeles, “La carretera” singer proved just how much he values technology and the internet by performing an intimate concert for the 1Million Project, a multi-year initiative benefitting students who lack internet access at home.

Prince Royce teamed up with the Sprint Foundation last year to raise money and awareness for countless students in the United States who don’t have the educational resources that many of us take for granted.

Marcelo Claure/Facebook

“I don’t think we realize how many people don’t actually have cell phones or internet service,” Prince Royce told mitú. “In a world where schools have become so competitive, every kid needs the internet, and a lot of them don’t have it.”

The imbalance between students with Wi-Fi access and those without is called the “homework gap,” and it’s these kids who continue to fall behind. According to a Pew Research Center analysis, most American homes with school-age children do have broadband access – about 82.5 percent. However, this means that about 5 million households with school-age children do not have internet service. Pew shows that low-income households, especially Black and Latino homes, make up a disproportionate share of that 5 million.

Prince Royce told mitú that he feels fortunate to have been in the first graduating class of the Bronx Academy of Letters because, although it’s a public school, its small class sizes allowed him to have a more personal, intimate educational experience.

Prince Royce said that he didn’t realize that access to technology was such a problem for young people until last year, which is why he teamed up with his former employer to help close the “homework gap.”

“#TBT freshman year.” -Prince Royce

“I realized not too long ago that when you don’t have a phone you can’t even look up a word in the dictionary or you can’t find your way to the local pharmacy,” Prince Royce said. “You can’t check anything. We depend on our phones, we depend on the internet.”

The 27-year-old singer playfully recalled what it was like for him to be a kid and not have the technology that most students have today.


“I remember having a calendar in my bedroom and having to write things down, and now we write everything down on our phones,” Prince Royce said. “I feel like school might be easier now. I used to punch numbers in a calculator and had to get textbooks and had to get help from friends. Now you send text messages or FaceTime with someone else in another country.”

During the event, the Bronx native reiterated that while most have an abundance of resources that are connected to Wi-Fi access, there are still so many students that don’t.

The Conga Room

“There are other schools that are so big, and these kids can’t get that personal attention,” Prince Royce told mitú. “Some teachers don’t even know their names. I think it’s important to give these kids what they need in order for them to progress.”

Some of the beneficiaries from the 1Million Project attended last Sunday’s show and kicked off the festivities.

Jazz ensemble from Garey High School. Araceli Cruz

The jazz ensemble from Garey High School in Pomona were elated not only to perform at the Conga Room but also because they’d finally have Wi-Fi at school. ?

It’s easy to imagine a superstar thinking mostly of himself, reveling in his success. Luckily for the kids of Pomona Unified School District, and many others, Prince Royce isn’t like that.


READ: Listen To Jennifer Lopez, Prince Royce And Selena Gomez Pay Tribute To Victims Of Orlando Shooting

Share and let us know what it would be like for you to not have cell phones or Wi-Fi.

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The 2021 National Teacher of the Year Was Just Announced, and She’s Latina!

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The 2021 National Teacher of the Year Was Just Announced, and She’s Latina!

Photo via JulianaUrtubey3/Twitter

The coronavirus pandemic had challenged parents, students, and teachers in new ways that no one could even predict. But despite these challenges, many teachers have stepped up to the plate and have gone above-any-beyond to make sure their students get the best education ever. One of those teachers is Juliana Urtubey, the Las Vegas special education teacher who is the 2021 National Teacher of the Year.

Juliana Urtubey is the first Latino recipient of the National Teacher of the Year award since 2005.

The Council of Chief State School Officers chose Juliana Urtubey because she creates flexible curriculums in order to address each of her individual student’s needs. “Juliana Urtubey exemplifies the dedication, creativity and heart teachers bring to their students and communities,” said CEO of the Council of Chief State School Officers, Carissa Moffat Miller.

Urtubey holds a Bachelor’s and Masters degree in bilingual elementary education from the University of Arizona. She says she was attracted to teaching because “knew that I could be the kind of teacher that would just take it step by step, have a whole lot of celebration for kids, particularly kids with thinking and learning differences and really just make learning fun.”

Born in Colombia, Urtubey knows the importance of bilingual education for young students.

Urtubey herself went to a bilingual education magnet school before being moving to an area without a similar school. She says the experience made her realize how important it is for educators to think of their students’ background, culture, and identity.

Juliana Urtubey uses the Crestwood Elementary School’s community garden to teach her students. Urtubey started the community garden herself seven years ago, and since then, it has flourished into a vibrant outdoor classroom. Her students even formed a garden club called “Gnomies”. At her school, Ms. Urtubey is affectionately known as “Ms. Earth”.

In a special surprise, First Lady and fellow educator Dr. Jill Biden surprised Ms. Urtubey with a bouquet of flowers during her interview with CBS.

Ms. Urtubey was visibly shocked at the surprise visit, looking like she couldn’t believe that First Lady Biden was there. “Look at Juliana — I mean, she is just the epitome of a great teacher, a great educator,” said Dr. Biden. Urtubey, who has called Dr. Biden one of her “heroes” in the past, was equally honored to meet the First Lady.

Ms. Urtubey has these words of wisdom for what it means to be a great teacher: “It’s about connecting and making relationships. I’m advocating for students to have a joyous and just education, where they experience joy in every part of their school.”

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This Virgen de Guadalupe Mural Was Vandalized In Los Angeles And The Community Is Devastated

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This Virgen de Guadalupe Mural Was Vandalized In Los Angeles And The Community Is Devastated

La Virgen de Guadalupe means so much to so many. Especially the Latino community in Van Nuys, California, near Los Angeles, which is reeling after an important mural depicting La Virgen was vandalized overnight.

Although security cam footage captured an unknown man defacing the mural, the suspect is still at large and the community is asking for help in finding out who committed the vandalism.

A suspect was caught on camera destroying a mural with La Virgen de Guadalupe.

The community of Saint Elisabeth Church near Los Angeles is asking the community for prayers after a mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe was vandalized on church grounds. 

The parish’s security system recorded video footage of an unknown man dressed in black approaching the mural with a sledgehammer at 1:40 a.m. Wednesday morning. He can be seen smashing the tiles that make up Our Lady’s face several times before fleeing.

On Friday, April 23, Father Di Marzio led a prayer service, which was livestreamed on the parish Facebook page. Some 30 parishioners gathered to sing and pray a decade of the rosary in front of the mural, which is roped off with caution tape, while nearly 100 others joined online. In closing, Fr. Di Marzio encouraged parishioners to “continue to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary to help us, and to touch the heart of the person who did this.” 

Also on Friday, a local artist, Geo Rhodes, was scheduled to visit the mural and discuss a plan for repair, arranged by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “We hope that soon we will restore the image, or have a new one more beautiful than the one we had before,” Fr. Di Marzio said.  

La Virgen de Guadalupe is extremely important to the church.

The hand-painted tile mural stands between the church and the rectory. It was installed over 35 years ago as a “symbol of community unity,” said business manager Irma Ochoa. Each square tile was sponsored by a parish family. Overlooking a small altar, the mural has become a popular place for parishioners to pray and light candles, asking Our Lady for special blessings. 

“I feel an unspeakable sadness,” said Fr. Antonio Fiorenza, who is in residence at the parish. “But I feel pity for the one who made this sacrilegious gesture. I pray for his conversion and for all those who show contempt to the Virgin Mary.”

To donate to the restoration fund, visit stelisabethchurch.org

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