Several years ago, Ryan Huang began volunteering as a bilingual digital coach for CTN’s Home Connect program after learning about CTN through his aunt, who works for Glide, a partner organization. Says Ryan, “It seemed like CTN was really changing lives. I immediately knew that I wanted to volunteer.”
Recently Ryan transitioned from an extraordinary volunteer with CTN to a part-time staff member. Overall, he has trained seven learners, five of whom have already graduated from the program. He moved to the U.S. from China when he was 11 and now offers classes in Cantonese to other immigrants in the Bay Area. “It’s been amazing to build connections with the learners. They’re so excited every time that I teach them something new,” he says.
The impact of Ryan’s work has been tangible. He says, “My learners tell me that they feel less isolated. Thanks to the internet, they can keep in touch with their friends. Mentally, learning how to use technology has been a huge help for them.”
Aside from teaching his learners how to use social media and email so that they can stay connected with their loved ones, Ryan also enjoys explaining how to browse the web. “During the pandemic, everyone saw how important it was, especially for seniors, to quickly access the resources that they needed online. Technology has become a necessity in our society,” he says.
Personally, Ryan’s commitment to giving back to his community and his interest in technology date back to middle school, when he began volunteering in public libraries and using their free computers to surf the web. CTN has been the perfect fit for him, combining both of these passions.
Says Ryan, “I’m so happy to be part of this team and to create change in my community. Many seniors cannot afford tablets, and even if they can, many are not comfortable using the devices. It’s important that they can connect with someone who speaks their own language and who can explain the technology to them. At CTN, we are united together to create change. We are reducing seniors’ isolation and improving their lives.”