31 Days of Giving, Day Three: Closing the Digital Gap

I arrived at Closing the Digital Gap (CTDG) unsure what to expect. My volunteer session was set up and I was told I would be doing some technical assistance in addition to possibly answering some legal questions. At that time I wasn’t even entirely sure what the CTDG did.

As I later learned, CTDG focuses on expanding access to computing based technology. The organization’s primary focus is providing technology training and resources to low income individuals. The organization offers courses from basic computer literacy courses to more intermediate trainings. Upon completion of the courses, students have a graduation and are given a working computer. While eligibility for CTDG’s programs is solely based, the organization does provide its services to numerous seniors.

Technology is an important resource in our world today. Having access to and knowledge of technology can help low income individuals find the assistance they need to improve their life circumstances. Elderly individuals are more likely to have less exposure to technology, and can have difficulty gaining access to resources for which they would be eligible. The services CTDG provides is an invaluable one.

While working to fix CTDG’s networking issues, I also got a chance to speak with Marcus Jefferson, the company’s Executive Director. Marcus explained that CTDG is involved with a number of other local groups including churches, workforce training agencies, and the Lansing School District.

The overall goal of the organization is to provide poor or at risk populations with the technological resources to better their circumstances. Through the course of one project, CTDG provided over 300 computers to schools in Ghana, Africa.

After resolving issues with the organization’s printers, I had an opportunity to witness some of the work that CTDG performs. Steven, one of the CTDG’s instructors, was running multiple individual tutoring sessions. One student was working on basic keyboarding skills while another was engaged in learning word processing software. While the women were learning computer skills, I was able to answer a few legal questions for them. Overall, the experience was a rewarding one for me and I am glad to know that there are places out there like CTDG that are helping expand people’s access to technology.

– Richard, Technical Assistant and Legal Hotline Attorney

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