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