CTN’s 2021 Annual Report
A year of growth & flexibility
This past year was one of growth, flexibility, and lasting change. As the pandemic continued to highlight the necessity of digital tools for daily life, it also highlighted the disparities between those who could access and utilize technology and those who could not. The internet is a critical resource for accessing information and social services, pursuing education and job opportunities, and using healthcare and communication platforms. By excluding those without digital skills and internet access from these activities, the digital divide continues to exacerbate long-standing systemic inequities.
Since our inception in 2008, CTN has remained committed to the belief that everyone deserves access to the internet and the skills to use it. Working collaboratively with long-established nonprofits and social service agencies, we strive to better understand community-specific needs and create culturally-relevant strategies to pursue digital equity.
This has led us to work with dozens of unique organizations and populations over the past year. As we returned to some sense of normalcy with in-person programming, we remained flexible amid the uncertainty— adapting to partner needs and reimagining our training models along the way. In 2021, CTN:
- Trained 1793 unique learners, distributed 1298 devices, and provided 4450 hours of direct digital literacy training
- Expanded and evolved our Home Connect program to train over 470 older adults in 8 different languages
- Collaborated with two Texas-based agencies to launch Senior Connect, a virtual digital literacy program for seniors in Central Texas
We invite you to read more about this year’s highlights and accomplishments throughout the report. Of course, none of this work would be possible without the collaborative support of our volunteers, community partners, and funders. Thank you to everyone involved in building a more digitally inclusive world— we look forward to the possibilities of the year to come!
Margaret Schoelwer, Board Chair
Kami Griffiths, Executive Director/Co-founder
WHO WE ARE
Community Tech Network strives to address long-standing social and systemic inequities by providing digital skills training, assistance in acquiring home internet, and a device.
WHO WE SERVE
Since 2008, Community Tech Network has pursued digital equity by bringing digital literacy and internet access to digitally-excluded communities— no matter their age, income-level, or primary language.
Learn more about CTN’s work in 2021:
To respond to the unique needs of each community we work with, our programs are designed with our many community partners and stakeholders. In 2021 we conducted classes in both in-person and virtual settings— adapting to partner and learner needs along the way. We continued to train learners one-on-one via our remote-based Home Connect program, conducted small group classes across the Bay Area, and increased our capacity-building program to help other organizations get their communities online. Reflecting the diversity of the populations we serve, our language-specific programs serve learners in eight different languages.
Connecting Seniors in Central Texas
Through participation in Austin’s Social Inclusion Task Force, CTN developed partnerships with a few agencies that were interested in using our curriculum and replicating our virtual Home Connect program. These agencies were awarded grants to address the social isolation experienced by older adults as a result of the stay-at-home order and participated in CTN’s training program to get started. This led to the creation of Senior Connect, a collaboration between Senior Access, AGE of Central Texas, and CTN. Replicating nearly all aspects of the Home Connect program, Senior Connect has secured enough funding to provide 125 older adults in Central Texas with home internet, a 10-inch Android tablet, and up to 17 hours of remote digital literacy training.LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SENIOR CONNECT PROGRAM
Building Skills at Hamilton Families
Recently, CTN began a partnership with Hamilton Families, a nonprofit focused on preventing homelessness, providing shelter and stability, and returning families to permanent housing. As a grantee of the CPUC CASF adoption account, Hamilton Families contracted CTN to teach digital literacy to 210 of its clients over two years.
CTN’s classes for Hamilton, taught in both English and Spanish, cover practical skills such as online job searches and resume writing. Although the initial classes began during the pandemic and were virtual, CTN was able to return to in-person classes later in the year. Says CTN program manager, Josie Boyle, “In-person instruction makes it much easier to provide support to a mixed-level group, and it was such a pleasure to be back in the classroom!”LEARN MORE ABOUT CTN AND HAMILTON FAMILIES
Connecting Home Connect Learners with Glide
This past year, CTN partnered with Glide, a nationally-recognized center for social justice. Through the partnership, Glide refers clients to CTN so that they can benefit from our Home Connect Program.
Says Tina Huang of Glide, “We want to make sure our seniors feel included in our society…Now we are able to offer our clients the Home Connect program, which allows them to learn technology skills and have access to tablets. They can connect with their loved ones, search for information, watch movies, and access new resources.”
“I am confident that our partnership will improve the quality of life for our seniors, both physically and mentally, in this challenging time,” Huang says.READ MORE ABOUT THE GLIDE PARTNERSHIP
Exploring New Tools with Sourcewise
In spring 2021, CTN began partnering with Sourcewise, which distribute over 600 Google Home Speakers to seniors and adults with disabilities to combat social isolation and loneliness.
This technology allows users to make calls, play music, request reminders, and receive news updates entirely by voice.
CTN offered training on how to navigate this new technology and use its benefits. Says one client, Sally, “The Google Home speaker has helped me tremendously. Google Translate helps with translation from English to Spanish and answers difficult medical questions I may have. I use it to set my alarm, listen to music, etc. Simply put, it makes life easier for me.”
Says Keri Vogtmann, digital inclusion program manager at Sourcewise, “[CTN] establish[es] an environment where clients feel safe as they navigate technology — and for many, it’s new territory.”READ MORE ABOUT THE SOURCEWISE PARTNERSHIP
Unique learners served
Hours of Instruction
A resident of Central Texas, Patricia Blaine describes herself as a gypsy who has lived all over the place. Before having children, she worked as a professional singer and had made albums with the Motown group Challenger 3. Today, the 78-year-old Patricia is just as enthusiastic about singing as ever. She now wants to share that passion with the world via YouTube.
To gain new digital skills and fully embrace the benefits of the internet, Patricia joined our Senior Connect program at our Texas-based partner, Senior Access. She dived right into the curriculum, unafraid to explore or make mistakes. One of Patricia’s favorite uses of her tablet is exploring historical events. “My instructor was very patient with me,” reflects Patricia. “He really showed me what different things meant. I never felt anxiety or anything about learning… I’m so grateful for this opportunity to reach the world through my tablet! You can do so many wonderful things. Whatever your interest is, you are able to find it right away!”’READ MORE ABOUT PATRICIA
A native of India, Home Connect participant Luis Mascarenhas has lived in San Francisco for the past 15 years. When someone at the Downtown Senior Center told him about our Home Connect program, Luis was able to receive a tablet and one-on-one digital literacy training.
Luis was initially hesitant about the new technology but felt encouraged by the patience and resourcefulness of his digital coach. Once he grew more comfortable using the tablet, the internet prompted a shift in Luis’s daily life. He uses his device to listen to music, audiobooks, and religious services. He was able to update his resume and apply for jobs. “With the help of my digital coach and the tablet, it has been a miracle,” says Luis. “CTN has put me on a new adventure path of life. The program offers great support. It has made me a happier and more productive person.”LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW THE INTERNET IMPACTED LUIS’ LIFE
Connecting Generations & Building Community
Connection is at the core of CTN’s work. As we work to connect people to the internet, we also connect tech-savvy volunteers to older adults with limited digital skills. This one-on-one training setup allows learners and their volunteers to foster connections, cultivate a personalized learning approach, learn from each other, and understand someone they may have never otherwise met. Since launching our virtual volunteer initiative— Digital Coaches— in 2020, we’ve helped connect volunteers across the country to older adults in need of extra training. Today, we have volunteers in 17 different states across the country!
A senior at USC, Ariana studies gerontology and hopes to become a geriatrician. She is passionate about working with older adults and understanding their specific needs— which made her the perfect fit for our Digital Coaches program. Since completing volunteer training, Ariana has worked with three Mandarin-speaking learners in the Home Connect program. She especially enjoys helping learners utilize technology to explore their interests and hobbies.
One of her learners, Jules, wanted to use technology to maintain his singing and choir practices. Working together, Ariana and Jules found different digital tools and apps that would allow him to share his audio over Zoom, harmonize with others, and back his vocals. “When you teach someone something, you learn from that too,” says Ariana. “Being able to go through everything with them, helping them figure out what is best for them, makes me feel good too.”LEARN MORE ABOUT ARIANA
Rafael volunteers at our partner site, the Downtown Senior Center. Every week, he spends an afternoon at the Center’s computer lab answering tech-related questions for whoever happens to walk in.
“One reason I started working at the computer lab is to connect people. Technology is a good way for the Latino community to communicate with families at home in Latin American countries. At the same time, they teach me a lot. ” Rafael reflects.READ MORE ABOUT THE IMPACT RAFAEL IS HAVING
Community Tech Network is, above all, a community. It is a web of people and organizations coming together to transform lives through digital literacy. We are proud of our successes and strides, but none of it would have been possible without a passionate network of staff members, board members, community partners, and sponsors.
30th Street Senior Center
Bayanihan Equity Center
Bayview Senior Services
Booker T Washington Community Service Center
Canon Kip Senior Center
Center for Elders’ Independence
Centro Latino De San Francisco
City of Oakland
City of San Jose
City of Stockton
City of Sunnyvale
Community Living Campaign
Community Music Center
Compass Family Services
County of Sonoma
Curry Senior Center
Department of Disability and Aging Services
Dr. George W. Davis Senior Center
Eastern Park Apartments
Family Caregiver Alliance
Hamilton Family Services
Institute on Aging
IT Bookman Community Center
Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly (LBFE)
LSS Sacramento Youth
Meals On Wheels San Francisco
Native American Health Center
Piedmont Gardens (Human Good)
Rosa Parks Senior Center
San Francisco Public Library
Seniors At Home
SF AIDS Foundation
South of Market Health Center
St. Anthony Foundation
Stanford Health Care
Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center
Tabernacle (Westside Courts)
The Women’s Building
UCSF Mt. Zion
Zuckerberg SF General
South Brunswick Public Library
AGE of Central Texas
Aging Service Council
Austin Asian Community Health Initiative (AACHI)
Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry
City of Austin Public Library
Community Resource Centers of Texas
East 19th Street Missionary Baptist Church
Round Rock Public Library
Smithville First United Methodist Church
The Caring Place
2021 Staff Members and Contractors
Eva Jiminez Reyes
Erika Jones Clary
Anna Beth Lane
2021 Board of Directors
DR. ROBERT FRIEDMAN
The Permanent Legacy Foundation
BDO USA, LLP
SF New Deal
The Gladstone Institutes / UCSF Mission Bay
Statement of Activities
For the year ended December 31, 2021
Support and Revenue
Direct Public Donations
Earned Income/Program Services
Paycheck Protection Program
Management and General
Development and Fundraising
Net Income / (Deficit): (51,218)
Statement of Financial Position
As of December 31, 2021
Total Current Assets
Accounts Payable & Accrued Expenses
Without Donor Restrictions
With Donor Restrictions
Total Net Assets
Total Liabilities and Net Assets