Tracey Thompson, a Kennedy-King College student studying criminal justice, has always been motivated to achieve her goals. She’s also been sure to look out for resources that can help her succeed along the way.

So, when an email arrived in Tracey’s inbox telling her she might be eligible for free internet and a free laptop, she wasted no time and applied, hoping to remove some of the burdens she was facing.

To her excitement, she found out she was eligible for both the Chicago Connected and Learn to Own programs at City Colleges of Chicago. Now, Tracey has access to free home internet, and she’s able to keep the laptop she was borrowing from City Colleges for free after enrolling in two consecutive terms as a credit student.

Fully aware of the need for technology in today’s modern world, Tracey is grateful to have a device that allows her to multitask and succeed in class. She’s also glad she doesn’t have to worry about a monthly internet bill.

“It is indescribable,” she said, “going from getting an internet bill each month to not having to worry about it.”

With those burdens gone, Tracey has been able to focus on her studies. She is on track to graduate this spring, and she sees herself transferring to a four-year university after that so she can explore careers in the field of criminal justice

As she closes her chapter at City Colleges of Chicago, Tracey would like to encourage current and future students to explore the Chicago Connected and Learn to Own programs here.

“I would certainly recommend both programs. Internet and a device are necessary in our technical world as a scholar pursuing a degree. It is a burden lifted off students when they don’t have to concern themselves with the financial aspect of affording internet or equipment,” she said.

To learn more about the Chicago Connected and Learn to Own programs, visit

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