“There’s tons of information available out there,” reflects volunteer digital coach Phil Tse. “It is so useful, but without internet access, you cannot get to it. I think having access is very important, and I’m glad I can help make that available to learners in a small way.”
When Phil Tse retired from his tech career, he felt motivated to use his skills to help others. The Hong Kong native moved to the U.S. around 40 years ago and is fluent in Cantonese. He has decades of experience working as a software engineer, along with some teaching experience from his time in graduate school. While Phil’s unique skill set might not match every volunteer opportunity description, his bilingual and technical skills made him the perfect fit for CTN. After coming across our virtual volunteer program, Phil decided to give it a try.
Today, Phil has completed over 12 sessions with one learner and started lessons with a second. Like many of our dedicated digital coaches, Phil goes above and beyond to ensure that his learners feel comfortable and confident when using their devices. He approaches his teaching with a learner-centered mentality — focusing more on their specific goals than abiding by a strict curriculum. In the process, he empowers learners to find answers to their questions online and prepares them to use their devices independently.
With his recent program graduate, Phil explained how to use online shopping platforms, share photos, and search YouTube. He was also sure to emphasize the importance of staying alert to potential security threats. When Phil’s learner was hesitant to provide personal information to the drugstore during the pandemic, Phil patiently explained how to do so safely while remaining aware of risks.
After years of working in the tech and business world, Phil sees his digital coaching as a form of people-centered tech support. Unlike traditional tech support workers, CTN’s digital coaches are afforded the opportunity to get to know those they are helping and take time to answer thoughtfully. “No one is going to judge how quickly you solve problems,” he reflects. “It’s really about solving them satisfactorily.”
CTN is fortunate to have motivated volunteers like Phil in our community. If you’re looking for a flexible opportunity to help others from home, check out our virtual volunteer opportunities today!