Josh Chan, Community Tech Network’s newest volunteer coordinator, is the perfect fit for the job, as he has a passion for volunteerism and a personal commitment to the organization’s mission.
Josh first began volunteering as a reading partner and tutor in underserved neighborhoods during his time at San Francisco State University. Upon graduation, Josh spent two years in AmeriCorps.
“While in AmeriCorps, I helped education nonprofits with their volunteers,” Josh says. “In one role, I served as the point of contact for the volunteers and led their orientations and debriefs. In my other role, I was more on the back end and supported volunteer coordination and management.”
Josh’s duties will be similar at CTN, as he will recruit volunteers and ensure that they are matched with the appropriate partners and learners. He will also check in with partner organizations to confirm that the volunteers are being used effectively.
“I think that one of my favorite parts of the job with CTN will be talking to the volunteers and letting them know that they can make a difference. By providing ongoing support and donating even just one hour a week for three months, they can really help a learner get comfortable using the internet,” adds Josh.
While 25-year-old Josh certainly already has extensive experience working with volunteers, he also feels deeply connected to CTN’s work.
“I was first drawn to CTN’s mission because I have a relative living in a CTN partner site. I used to help this family member order products, talk to their doctor, and perform other basic tasks online. It was eye-opening because it shows how difficult accessing these services can be for someone who doesn’t know how to use technology,” he says.
“Digital equity is a huge part of social equity, but it’s one we often take for granted, especially those of us who grew up using technology,” he continues. “People who can’t access this technology equally are left behind, and performing basic tasks — like filling out forms online or scheduling doctor’s appointments — becomes more difficult.”
Specifically, Josh says he “really appreciates” the fact that CTN offers digital literacy programming in various languages. “Individuals from marginalized communities that do not speak English as their primary language have to overcome two barriers — the digital literacy and the language one — to apply for and access the services that they need. … I grew up in a Cantonese-speaking household, and the fact that CTN has culturally responsive programs for digital equity is really cool to me.”
Josh’s final words: “We’re looking for new volunteers, particularly those that are bilingual-speaking in Spanish or Cantonese. If you want to make a tangible difference in the lives of others, apply to volunteer with CTN today.