Transforming lives through digital literacy.

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Earlier this year, CTN announced an important strategic partnership with Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA). SAHA provides affordable accommodations and services to empower people and strengthen neighborhoods. CTN is being funded by California Advanced Services Fund to provide basic computer skills training at SAHA locations in the East Bay.

On October 26, CTN held a graduation ceremony of its digital literacy training program at Arboleda Apartments in Walnut Creek. The event celebrated the achievements of two women who completed a four-session training course. The graduates were Maria and Paty, pictured here, who live at the apartments. Arboleda is one of three locations where CTN has been providing training since April.

Classes took place in the community room at the Arboleda complex. Both women were new computer users, and although they were timid at first, they were extremely motivated to learn. During their basic skills training, Maria and Paty set up email addresses for the first time, sent emails, and learned how to search online and how to use the Google speech-to-text function.

The graduation was held during the final class, and each student was given a certificate of accomplishment. Paty’s grandchildren came by for the graduation to surprise her with flowers, and their visit made it a real celebration. Both learners were excited about completing the classes, and a certificate was a small way to reward them for their hard work, because who doesn’t enjoy getting a certificate? But the true reward of participation in this program is a laptop; soon both women will receive their very own!

Neither Maria nor Paty could stay away after graduation. They returned in order to continue practicing using laptops while they wait for the delivery of their own. Now Paty is becoming quite the master of email!

The SAHA program is set to continue until May 2017, and CTN hopes to help a total of 250 new computer users. In due course, the program will also be replicated at 11 locations managed by Bridge Housing in 5 Bay Area cities and at 3 affordable housing locations managed by the Episcopal Community Services in San Francisco.

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Lorna Walsh