With more than 30 million Americans shut out from the internet access and skills we take for granted, it’s often hard to fathom the scope of digital inclusion challenges.
For one NTEN Digital Inclusion Fellow, the change is positive, long-lasting, and intensely personal.
Evert Keller from the Austin Public Library was recently approached by two elderly sisters who needed basic computer skills training to help them crack a very old mystery.
Their challenge was to track down a long-lost and beloved cousin, he said, for whom they had been searching for a very long time.
“They had shared many great memories as children, but lost contact in their 20s,” he said.
Through the library’s basic computer skills training and his support, the sisters were able to track down and find a working phone number for their lost cousin and get back in touch.
Evert says making a difference in people’s lives is the best part of his career in digital inclusion.
“I like to think if everything in the world was right, none of us would ever have to feel closed off from the resources we need to realize our goals. Through work, such as helping reunite these women, I am able to advance what I believe in every day.”
Evert is part of NTEN’s Digital Inclusion Fellowship cohort for 2018 and is part of the Austin Public Library team that offers walk-in support for people learning word processing and bookkeeping programs, as well as basic computer skills and jobseeker training.