IT’S VOLUNTEER MONTH – CTN VOLUNTEERS TRANSFORM LIVES!
As a young professional in San Francisco’s tech sector, Mary Grace Reich wanted to find a way to give back to the local community. She searched for opportunities to utilize her tech skills to help others and soon applied to be a CTN digital coach. After volunteering with us for about a year, she continues to feel grounded by the one-on-one relationships formed within the Home Connect program. In Mary Grace’s work as a user experience researcher, she is often considering how thousands of users are engaging with a particular product. When working with CTN learners, she can better understand an individual’s lived experience of using technology as a newcomer.
“In the past, a lot of the senior learners had experiences where they were made to feel inadequate or slow,” Mary Grace reflects. “I think there’s a sense of sort of personal vulnerability for the learners to be like asking for help, yet they all expressed how incredibly patient their digital coaches were and how much the digital coaches created a space where they didn’t have to worry about being slow or forgetting something.”
Like Mary Grace, CTN’s diverse pool of volunteers use their experiences to help improve our learners’ everyday lives. Illya Kulinych — a native of Ukraine — uses his Russian language skills to help older adults feel comfortable using the internet. Rafael Z. uses his free time to solve tech issues for Spanish- and English-speaking learners at the Downtown Senior Center. No matter their specific contribution, all of our volunteers play an integral role in CTN’s mission.
It’s Volunteer Appreciation Month, and we’re celebrating the many incredible people who donate their time to helping others with CTN. As we expand our digital coaching program to more people, we are always looking for passionate volunteers who want to make a real impact. Consider becoming a digital coach with us!
COMMUNITY TECH NETWORK SPOTLIGHT
STAFF SPOTLIGHT: AUDREY POTTS
“Thinking about my career path, I realize that every job I took always had something to do with the Latin community and technology in some shape or form,” says program coordinator Audrey Potts. Follow along Audrey’s journey to CTN!
FUNDER SPOTLIGHT: ST DAVID’S FOUNDATION
CTN recently received funding from St. David’s Foundation to launch DigitalLIFT — a capacity-building digital inclusion program for agencies in Caldwell County, Texas. Read more about our collaborative efforts to promote health and digital equity in rural communities.
PARTNER SPOTLIGHT: TECHWOMEN
In partnership with TechWomen, CTN hosted emerging leaders from around the world for a volunteer day at San Francisco’s Downtown Senior Center. Check out Madeeha Khan’s reflections on her experience working with new tech users.