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A couple of years ago, the digital divide — generally defined as the schism between those with access to technology and those without — was a hot-button issue. It was almost fashionable for government officials and high-tech tycoons to voice their concerns about the plight of African Americans missing the boat to the New Economy, and trailing whites in every category from computer ownership to Internet use.( http://www.linkslondon4lover.com/earrings-c-143.html)

But the buzz about providing access has quieted. One reason is that many tech companies are hurting. Since the Internet bubble burst, many firms no longer have the resources to focus on bridging the divide. Of course-there are some exceptions. Some companies provide support for programs that teach- minorities about computers and the Internet, while others donate computer equipment to low-income schools.

So has the divide been bridged? Not quite. But recent statistics suggest that it is narrowing. According to a recent study, the number of black Web users surged 19% in the past year, while the overall Internet population only grew 14% during the same period. But experts fear those gains could be hampered by governmental budget cuts. And some technologists say an increase in the number of African American Web users doesn't show the big picture. They maintain that focusing on the number of African Americans who own a computer, or who have ever logged on to the Internet, misses the point. The real question is what people do with their computers.

Until more African Americans develop an aptitude for using their computers and the Internet to better their economic situations, the digital divide is as wide as an ocean. 'Many remain optimistic, though, believing that as more and more African Americans discover practical uses for the Internet, such as finding business and employment opportunities, the divide will be bridged. At a young and tender age, her doctor told Patti Wilson that she was an epileptic. Her father, Jim Wilson, is a morning jogger. One day she smiled through her braces? and said," Daddy, what I'd really love to do is running with you every day, but I' m afraid I' 11 have a seizure?."

Working For the Future."What do you want to be when you grow up?" You've probably heard that question a thousand times. You may even be one of the lucky ones with a definite plan for the future. But if you're like most teenagers, the question makes you want to leave the conversation and the room.

Thinking about a career is hard for everyone. There are hundreds of industries, thousands of professions, and millions of jobs to choose from. It may seem too early in your life to try to figure out where you belong. But now is actually a great time to experiment — before you need that paycheck Interested? Then don't think about jobs. Think about yourself. What kind of people do you like to be with? What kind of things do you like to do? What are you good at? The answers may suggest some work possibilities. Are you patient and good with children? Maybe you'd like teaching. Do you like physical activity and the outdoor? Think about construction work, or being a traffic policeman.

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