Qing Li Yang is from Taishan, China. As an older adult and immigrant, Qing Li has faced many language and cultural barriers while living in the United States. Fortunately, after learning digital skills through Community Tech Network’s Home Connect program, she discovered the positive impact that technology could have on her life. “I am really grateful for CTN. I feel confident going online now, and I help other seniors use their devices,” she says.
WeChat and YouTube are the two platforms that Qing Li uses the most. She connects with her family and friends through WeChat and is learning English through YouTube videos. “I find these videos really helpful. I really enjoy learning this way. Before, I could only say ‘Hello’ when I went out on the streets, but now I can have basic conversations in English with people,” Qing Li says happily.
She adds, “I live in senior housing, and the front desk staff do not speak Chinese. I really wanted to thank them for their service to us, but I couldn’t find ways to do that. Now that I’ve learned some English from YouTube, I can chat with them, and I feel closer to these nice people.”
With her new digital skills, Qing Li is also trying to help others. “There are many seniors who know nothing about using a phone. It is really hard for us. A lot of my neighbors know that I’ve had lessons from CTN, and they come to me and ask me to help them. They were all very open to learning.”
Qing Li is happy that more and more seniors are recognizing the importance of digital literacy. “I don’t know as much as the instructors, but I help others when I can, and we are all happy to gain these new and essential skills.”
Reflecting on her learning experience, Qing Li found it the hardest to join Zoom. “It was very challenging, but the instructor was very patient with me and that helped a lot.” Qing Li is now confident in her ability to navigate Zoom and when asked if she was proud of herself, she said: “Yes! Of course!”