A native of China, Xiuzhen Xu immigrated to the United States in 2003. For several years, she worked as a kindergarten teacher in San Francisco. Now retired, Mrs. Xu wants to remain curious and connected in her later years.
After hearing about CTN’s Home Connect program through a friend at church, Mrs. Xu began her first lessons in July. She worked with bilingual digital instructor Tom Yang, who has been especially helpful in her training: “Mr. Yang knows how Chinese people think and has been very patient with me. Mr. Yang also is able to explain things in both Chinese and English. I am very lucky to have Mr. Yang as the teacher.”
With Tom’s help, Mrs. Xu became more comfortable using her tablet independently and started exploring all the benefits of life online. Some of her favorite activities include reading Chinese community news, watching YouTube, and emailing her daughter and friends.
As Mrs. Xu’s initial Home Connect lessons come to an end, she is excited to continue using her tablet and using her digital skills. “I am still practicing and learning every day,” she says. “Now I have something to do on a daily basis. I have become more optimistic about the future.”
While many older adults feel a sense of loneliness in their later years, the Home Connect program provides people like Mrs. Xu with the digital tools needed to remain active and connected.
“Mrs. Xu was looking for a way to make her retirement life more connected with her friends and relatives,” reflects her digital Instructor, Tom. “This training and tablet enable her to interact with her friends and families and be more involved with her church friends on Zoom. Digital literacy became a way to pursue a more meaningful life for her.”