Transforming lives through digital literacy.


Community Technology Network has a new program management team. Heather DeSmidt and Laurie Sanchez will both serve as digital literacy program managers, helping place and support volunteers and trainers at local computer labs and senior centers. Kat Kruse is leaving at the end of September to focus more time on her writing and other projects. We will miss her insights, generous spirit, and humor.

Oakland native Heather DeSmidt has a rich background in adult education in nonprofit, university, and community college settings. She is fluent in Spanish and holds a master’s in TESOL and a certificate in educational technology.

As a volunteer for Mujeres Unidas y Activas, I worked closely to develop the English language and computer skills my learner needed to carry out her job duties. It was so great to witness how she grew confident in speaking and writing emails in English and how she started to feel comfortable taking risks.

I believe everyone should have the opportunity to reach their full potential personally, academically, and professionally, which is why I have focused my career on providing more equitable access to education.

Laurie Sanchez has worked with various organizations and start-ups helping people use technology. She loves helping the “relationship” between people and computers work. She has volunteered with various local nonprofits, arts centers, and dance companies.

I was raised in a family whose ethos was that we ALL, as individuals, have a responsibility to our community, to help those in need and exercise compassion. Everyone in my family volunteers, and I love that about us!

I think it’s important to recognize a volunteer is giving time and energy, and this needs to be prized and honored. And every success is worthy of recognition. Saying “Woo Hoo!” just makes me happy. Open and consistent communication is key: I try to live by the ratio of two ears and one mouth. I want to hear your thoughts and issues and use my voice responsibly to keep you informed.

Visit the CTN staff page to learn more about Laurie and Heather.

Introducing Heather DeSmidt and Laurie Sanchez

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Ron Nieberding