EXPANDING DIGITAL INCLUSION WITH THE CITY OF AUSTIN
When the City of Austin first launched its website in the ’90s, it seemed like a natural development given the growing popularity of the internet. Yet soon after its launch, the City realized that the more services they make available online, the more they have to ensure that people can access those services. This meant that the City would need to take extra steps to promote access and use of the internet — not only to access social services but also to participate in the growing digital economy.
To tackle the city’s digital divide, the City of Austin has a robust set of initiatives and programs related to digital inclusion — one of which is their Grants For Opportunities in Technology Program (GTOPs). Over the years, CTN has received multiple Capacity grants from the City of Austin to support various digital inclusion efforts. Additionally, CTN’s executive director Kami Griffiths has served as the facilitator for the Digital Empowerment Community of Austin (DECA) calls for the past two years. Here’s what Jesse had to say about the City of Austin’s funding partnership with CTN:
“Kami has been a big focal point in the community as somebody that helps push conversations forward. She has a lot of history doing work on digital equity topics, both here and in California. We’ve funded a couple of grants to CTN that were successful in connecting seniors to technology and digital literacy training, which is a direct relationship between CTN and the City. But that is certainly not the only contribution that Kami and CTN have brought to the digital inclusion conversation in Austin.”
COMMUNITY TECH NETWORK SPOTLIGHT
STAFF SPOTLIGHT: JOSIE BOYLE
From teaching youth in Russia to teaching older adults in the Bay Area, Josie Boyle followed an eclectic path to CTN. She was drawn to CTN for its focus on working with people of diverse backgrounds and languages and now serves as a program manager. Follow along with Josie’s CTN journey.
LEARNER SPOTLIGHT: LAURIE REHANEY
As a participant in our Sunnyvale classes, Laurie received a free Chromebook and personalized digital literacy training. Thanks to her new skills, Laurie landed a full-time position working in home care after many months on the job hunt. She is motivated to expand her digital skills, get back to work, and eventually move out of the Sunnyvale homeless shelter to a place of her own. Read more about Laurie’s educational experience.
VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: JIM HU
After a few sessions of digital coaching, Jim Hu realized that he had much more in common with the older adults than he’d imagined. “I realized they are just like me. They are all passionate about digital stuff. They are very modernized and aware of recurring news. They ask a lot of questions on entertainment stuff. The gap between us is not as big as I expected.” Check out why Jim is passionate about volunteering!
CTN IS ABOUT TO BE 14!
On March 3rd, CTN is celebrating 14 years of transforming lives through digital literacy. Will you help us continue working towards a more digitally inclusive world for all? When you invest in devices, broadband, and training, you make a direct impact on someone’s quality of life.