Big congratulations go out to the first married couple to be enrolled in CTN’s Home Connect program!
Bonnie and Carlos learned about our Home Connect program from a friend of Bonnie’s, whom she has known since they were young adults living in El Salvador. Bonnie and Carlos were enthusiastic participants in many activities at the Mission Neighborhood and Senior Center before it closed due to the pandemic.
Bonnie taught kindergarten through fifth grade in her native El Salvador, and Carlos worked in a warehouse in Guatemala. They arrived in San Francisco 42 years ago with their two children and have always loved living here. They have been married 52 years!
Bonnie and Carlos are grateful for the tablet they received as part of the Home Connect program. Although Carlos had a bit of experience using a desktop computer, they did not have one at home. They did not have a smartphone because the costs of cell service and data are too high, so they had relied on their home landline to communicate with friends, family, and the rest of the world.
Maria Vazquez, one of CTN’s bilingual digital literacy trainers, was an obvious choice to work with Bonnie and Carlos since their initial five Home Connect trainings were conducted in Spanish. After they were comfortable navigating the tablet and getting connected to the internet, one of the first apps Bonnie and Carlos were introduced to allowed them to use their tablet as a cellphone. In the next session, Maria taught them how to use Zoom, which let them rejoin their friends in the online classes and activities provided by the senior center.
Bonnie shared her appreciation: “We were pleased and grateful with our teacher Maria; she was always kind and patient while teaching us how to use the tablet and the apps. We love seeing our friends again on Zoom. We use our tablet to order medicine refills, so we no longer have to go to Kaiser and expose ourselves to infection while waiting for the medicine to be ready.”
We imagine it was also convenient for them to have a built-in helper if one of them got stuck on their homework.