Whenever possible, Community Tech Network strives to hire individuals directly from the communities which we are serving since such folks best understand the local context and needs. As we expand our work into California’s Central Valley, we are thrilled to announce one of the newest additions to our team: Yanely Gonzalez. Yanely was born and raised in the Central Valley and serves as our Digital Equity Program coordinator for the area.
Says Yanely, a graduate of the University of California at Davis: “I feel right at home in this position. It’s amazing and I love it so much. I’m from here and I’m so excited for the opportunity to help my community move forward.”
Yanely comes to CTN with fascinating experiences, having spent the past few years in Latin America. She lived in Costa Rica and visited countries like Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina. However, she’s excited to be back home.
In her new role, Yanely is working closely with CTN partners like EAH Housing to perform outreach and encourage folks to sign up for digital literacy classes. She’ll be visiting different sites in the area between Fresno and Modesto. Meanwhile, Yanely is also currently teaching digital skills courses for CTN as a bilingual (English/Spanish) instructor.
This is not Yanely’s first time in the classroom. While in Costa Rica, she received her TEFL certification to teach English as a foreign language. She worked both at a language institute and with private clients. “As a teacher, I love getting to know the students. It’s really beautiful to see their development, especially when they’re starting as absolute beginners.”
Yanely is excited to bring her skills and experience to CTN, and specifically, the Central Valley. “I love that CTN is community-based. The staff is so positive and passionate, and the organization’s mission is really uplifting. I really want to develop my career here and give back to the community. A lot of times, people don’t think about digital equity, but having access to technology is so important. For example, people can’t apply to colleges today without the internet. Everything really starts booming once people get connected.”