Photo: Al Ho and several of his students (pre-pandemic) after a session of their digital learning class taught in Cantonese at the Sunset Beacon Neighborhood Center.
Al Ho began his CTN career just over a year ago. He decided to look for employment with a nonprofit because he knew that he wanted to work closely with people in need. A Google search presented a number of choices, and he selected CTN because of his technology background. Al joined the CTN team as a bilingual digital literacy instructor.
Born in Hong Kong, Al came to the U.S. right out of high school over 30 years ago on a college scholarship. After college and graduate school, he worked for five years as a research scientist at Caltech in Pasadena, focusing on supercomputers and their associated applications. He then accepted a similar position with IBM in San Jose, where his interest in neural networks, deep learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) was sparked.
“When I joined CTN, I was looking for an opportunity to touch people’s lives in a purposeful and meaningful way. While working with technology at a high level was rewarding and I knew I was making a difference, I was so far removed from an individual end user — a real person,” Al told us. “Being a digital literacy instructor was a life-changing experience for me. Sitting face-to-face (before COVID) with an older adult learner was what I needed. It made me happy to see the smiles on their faces as they learned new things about their tablet, the internet, and themselves.”
Al’s role with CTN changed after the pandemic hit. Al continues to be instrumental in assisting CTN’s new Home Connect program’s clients obtain home internet access so they can begin their remote training. He also helps configure and remotely distribute tablets to the new learners. “I remember one day calling a new Home Connect participant to see if her tablet had arrived and to help her become familiar with her device. She said she had received it but had not opened it yet because her hands were shaking so much from her nervous excitement, she feared dropping it. It made me feel so good that I was changing her life!”
Al’s part-time work with CTN allows him to remain involved and actively working with technology theory and engineering advancements. Al, we truly appreciate your commitment to our older adult learners and are proud to have you on our team.