Transforming lives through digital literacy.


Seyoum TesfaMichael currently works in a local nursing home and has recently developed a new passion for using the internet to transform his life and to help others. A native of Ethiopia, he speaks excellent English in addition to his native language, Amharic (the national language of Ethiopia) as well having near-native capacities in Tigrinya, the national language of neighboring Eritrea.

As Seyoum is seeing many digital resources for the first time, he feels that this new knowledge is changing his life and says that he feels like a new man. Equipped with a smartphone and a new computer, Seyoum is beginning to use digital technology to understand global change. He wants to help his native country build infrastructure in preparation for intensifying drought cycles in an age of global warming while better understanding the potential impact of political and economic influences.

Seyoum recently had a session with CTN volunteer trainer Jared Boddum in an SF Connected Lab at Curry Senior Center. Jared tutored him in using an Amharic keyboard on his mobile device and helped him locate relevant research in his native language. Seyoum also learned of the Language Access Program Information Portal of the District of Columbia, where interpretation services are mandated by city law for Amharic speakers. This resource will assist Seyoum in achieving his professional goal of a career serving Ethiopian and Eritrean expatriates in the United States as a language interpreter.

For 12 years, CTN has served as a training resource for thousands of individuals. Each one is provided access to digital resources that enrich a path of lifelong learning and allow for renewed ambition. It appears Seyoum’s story is just beginning. Oh, and did we mention … he is 66 years old!

Learner Spotlight: Seyoum TesfaMichael

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Carlos Sivira