Transforming lives through digital literacy.


Guandong Lu and his family moved to the U.S. from Guangzhou, China, in 1998. He frequently commuted to Guangzhou for the next 18 years as the owner of an international trading business. He stepped down from this position in 2016 to care for his wife, who was ill. Obviously, he did well in his new role as they still enjoy life together. 

For many years, Guandong has been an active member of the Chinatown YMCA. Before the pandemic, he regularly worked out in the gym, participated in day trips, and also served as a volunteer. He discovered the Home Connect program through one of the YMCA staff and immediately signed up for it.

When he started Home Connect, he possessed a basic knowledge of technology, using his smartphone to look up information online. His online research gave him much useful medical information related to his wife’s illness and treatment. Annie Tan, a bilingual digital literacy instructor with CTN, was initially assigned as his trainer for the first five introductory sessions. Because of his smartphone experience, they were able to move rapidly though the curriculum. Once he became comfortable with his new tablet, he was amazed how much easier it became to access the internet.

He still researches his wife’s medications, their side effects and interactions with each other. He also searched for Chinese remedies to help his wife when doctors told him they had done all they could. In addition to his medical-related searches, he now uses the tablet to view and share photos he has taken on previous trips.  Compared to his smartphone, the bigger screen is so much easier on his eyes. Guandong told us, “The internet has become a treasure to me. The tablet works just like an electronic photo album; it’s all very convenient.”  He has acquired a virtual fan base and found many new friends when he became a popular singer on a karaoke app. 

Broadening his online skills made his shelter-in-place life easier, and he plans to keep learning to enhance his knowledge. He is very grateful to CTN for his tablet and to Annie for the personalized and professional training and for her patience.

Learner Spotlight: Guandong Lu

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Annie Tan