Transforming lives through digital literacy.


Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of writing a blog post about an isolated older adult participant in our Home Connect program. After her story was published, she sent an email of appreciation. This message is being shared with her permission and in her own words.

Thanks for your professional work. I really hope that my story will spread the words out and will inspire and attract more contributions from donors and have more seniors benefits from CTN’s program as well. 

I am very thankful that I live in the U.S., the land of freedom and the land of opportunities. I have been working hard for all of my life, and it’s time to harvest the fruits from the tree. But the pandemic messed up our lives and prevented us seniors to get out, and enjoy our lives. In the U.S., we got all the help that we could possibly imagine, from free online digital coaching, online singing lessons, nutrition counseling. Even though we are alone at home, we are not lonely because we are still being connected with outside world, and our lives are still full of rejoicing and fulfilment.

Life is a magic journey. We always have to meet our challenges, and it’s never too late to learn. I would like to continue my training lessons with CTN, because there is always something new to learn. In China, I experienced the most dreadful Cultural Revolution during my school years. I was being stripped of my right of being educated. During the Cultural Revolution, there were no schools for whole two years. Then after that, I was taken away from my home in a big city and forced to move to a remote farm to perform labor and to be “reeducated by the farmers,” and I was there wasting my time for a full three years.

I did not have the opportunity to study English in China, and after I immigrated to the U.S., I have to work to earn my living, and at the same time, I have to take care of my 5-year-old son without any help, so I did not have time to go to school. Now, I am retired, and finally I have all the time I need to learn. I should grab this opportunity and get the skills that I did not have chance to obtain while I was young.

I have to express my sincere thankfulness to staff trainer Josie Boyle and two volunteer digital coaches Jiali Peng and Ruiying Li. They are so patient and knowledgeable.  I had been attending the [program/agency name blocked by CTN]. The volunteer tutors working there were not well trained, they were lacking patience, and had a very bad attitude toward senior learners like me. We are not familiar with the new tech, and we could not figure the computer skills out by ourselves, while I tried to jot down the instructions, the volunteer tutor just yelled at me: “You don’t need to write down everything you learned, you just do what I told you. Are you not willing to do it, or you don’t know how to do it?”  But if I didn’t write down, I would forget it right away, because I was not like the young generations, I did not grow up with the digital world, we can only learn it slowly but surely. That’s the only way we can learn it. Compared to such different treatment and experience with CTN, I am so glad that I’m in a good hand now and being treated well. Keep learning!


Linda Z

Letter of Appreciation from a Home Connect Learner

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