Originally from Venezuela, Carlos has spent most of his life in the Bay Area. After graduating from San Jose State University with a degree in business, Carlos began working as a relationship banker. In this role, he witnessed how a lack of digital training can affect people’s everyday lives. As his clients struggled with online banking and fell victim to phishing scams, Carlos went beyond his job description and started informally helping others learn how to use the internet.
Desiring a job that is more than just a paycheck, Carlos got connected with CTN through another employee. Now, his side gig has become his full-time job as a bilingual digital literacy program associate!
Carlos’s charismatic personality makes it easy for him to connect with his learners — many of whom feel like a grandparent to him. His learners have given him virtual house tours, called him to catch up on their lives, and even gifted him with a six-pack of beer! While these personal bonds are a highlight for Carlos, the most rewarding aspect of his work is seeing his learners grow and progress through the program.
“One student of mine wasn’t really talking to anyone,” Carlos recalls. “She was by herself and isolated. Through our lessons, we built a relationship where she will call me once or twice a month and tell me what she has been up to. That is always a highlight — seeing how far a learner comes and how different their life is now. Instead of just having me to talk to, she is in communication with a whole community through all sorts of Zoom classes!”
Raised in a community-centered environment, Carlos gained a desire to help others and an ability to connect with all kinds of people. “It is very fulfilling to help out my community,” he says. “That’s why I do it. I like doing something that doesn’t necessarily feel like a job. I enjoy talking to these people. I like making sure that they feel comfortable and safe online. When I talk to learners now, they are talking multiple Zoom classes a week … they are talking to their families every day. It’s amazing. It’s exactly what we want for learners who finish the program!”
We are grateful to have such an enthusiastic and passionate individual on our team. Thank you, Carlos!