Before she participated in CTN’s Home Connect program, Linda Z’s computer skills were limited to programs she learned and used for her job as an office clerk. Born in China, Linda has lived in San Francisco for 37 years. She had signed up for computer training with CTN after seeing a flyer posted at the Sunset Recreation Center, but the pandemic hit before her training began. When contacted by CTN a few weeks later, she jumped at the chance to have remote training.
“I did not grow up in the digital world, and I am not comfortable using digital devices,” Linda said. “I never had the courage to explore by myself, and I was always afraid that I would mess up the computer. My first concerns preventing me from exploring were online safety, identity theft, and the risks of a computer virus.”
CTN staff trainer Josie Boyle worked with Linda for her first five basic sessions. Then she transitioned to digital coaches Jiali “Aaron” Peng and Ruiying Li. Linda told CTN: “I really appreciate everyone’s patience and level of knowledge. I looked forward to each session.” She has embraced both Zoom and online shopping, especially since she has a few special needs that she can no longer obtain at traditional retail outlets. All that changed when she was introduced to Amazon.
“I learned about how to use the save for later folder, and the importance of reading the reviews. I was worried about the quality of the items and whether I was reading the size charts correctly. They can be confusing. All the patience and perseverance paid off because my first two orders were very successful. That gave me the confidence I needed to continue. For me, online shopping is a very necessary and important daily skill. Now that I have the tools to get the essential items that I could no longer find, my quality of life is greatly improved.”
Linda continued: “We seniors are the most vulnerable group to contract COVID-19. We are trapped at home, and we need the digital skills to contact the outside world. I am very thankful that CTN provided such valuable training for me. Digital skills have the opened the outside world to me; life is full of joy again.”