Transforming lives through digital literacy.

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It’s always hard to say goodbye, but its especially difficult when it involves leaving an organization as wonderful as CTN.

When I started at CTN in February 2017, I was excited by the mission to close the digital divide and was drawn to CTN’s methods of doing this through volunteers, partnerships, and collaboration. CTN has more than exceeded my expectations, and I can truly say that the organization is something special. From the dedication of my coworkers to the passion of the volunteers and the robust partnerships with other organizations and city government, it’s been a joy to contribute to an organization with such a strong standing in the community.

Looking back at my time at CTN, there are a few highlights that have stood out.

  • Facilitating the Breakfast Brag & Borrow meetings. These meetings brought together people from across sectors who are all dedicated to improving access to technology. I learned so much from both our dedicated regulars and those who popped in for a meeting or two, and it’s been a thrill to see the many partnerships and connections that have grown out of these meetups.
  • Regularly getting to tutor in the lab at Aquatic Park. It has been a joy to befriend the learners in the lab there and help them develop their skills. Helping one client apply for the Hamilton lottery, teaching another how to Facetime with her niece, and the conversations I had with the learners in the lab have all been a truly wonderful experience.
  • Being a part of the Digital Inclusion and Connect with Tech weeks with the public library. The first Digital Inclusion Week was the first time I got the chance to work closely with organizations around the city such as the San Francisco Public Library, Community Living Campaign, Tenderloin Tech Lab, and many more! Participating in the Tech Expo (I’m pictured here on the left with Laurie Sanchez) was a wonderful experience to get to talk to many organizations and people looking to learn how to use technology.
  • Finally, working with all of CTN’s incredible volunteers was my favorite part of my job. While I did have the chance to meet most volunteers in person, most of my day-to-day interactions with volunteers have been through email. I have loved reading their reports, discussing new ways to engage learners, and seeing how valuable the time spent in the lab is to both the learners and the volunteers themselves. It’s been a pleasure to get to know this diverse group of people, all drawn to help others learn technology. Plus, the fact that I built such strong relationships with them largely through email is an example of what a valuable tool for connecting people technology can be and reaffirms the value of our work.

Working at CTN has been a valuable and impactful experience, and I am glad to have been a part of it. I am heading off to graduate school at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and while I am looking forward to this next chapter of my life, it will be hard to leave CTN! I hope to keep in touch with all the fantastic people I’ve worked with over the last year and a half, and I am excited to see what CTN will do next.

A Fond Farewell from CTN Program Manager Joanna Bell

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Joanna Bell