February of 2016 I decided to get my GED. I searched for places that provided GED testing and chose the one closet to me. The next morning I drove to East Austin to a place called Austin Free-Net. I had never even heard of Austin Free-Net. I was simply there to complete my high school chapter. February of 2017, I am searching for an internship. I come across an opportunity to be a communications intern and decide that is the perfect job for me. I immediately apply and within a couple of days, I was called in for an interview. It wasn’t until the morning of my interview when I plug in the address that it finally registers with me– I had applied to an internship at the very place I achieved my GED the year before. Isn’t it so funny when things come full circle like this? It made me laugh when I received the internship; knowing full well this was divinely written and exactly where I was supposed to be.
If you’re anything like me before I started working at Austin Free-Net, you have no idea what it is. Austin Free-Net is a non-profit organization that provides digital literacy training to the public. This is a tremendous issue and yet very few people know about it. We live in a digital age and our digital literacy is something we take for granted everyday. There are people in our community and all over the world who have fallen behind or can not catch up because they lack the skills and knowledge necessary to operate technology.
At Austin Free-Net, we provide accessible computer labs where anyone can come and receive help to improve their typing skills, build a resume, look for a job, or create an email. Our labs are overseen by our amazing volunteers and trainers who assist our clients specifically to their needs. A lot of the clients we see are currently experiencing homelessness. In an age where so many job applications are online, these members of our community struggle even more to pick themselves up. Austin Free-Net provides the help needed during these trying times.
The environment at Austin Free-Net is truly inspiring. No one walks around with the mindset that they are some how superior to these people who may be experiencing a more difficult circumstance. Everyone is equal at Austin Free-Net. This is the mindset we should all maintain regardless of who we are around. We are all one. Sometimes others need a little more help and we should be there to give them a hand.
I have had the pleasure of speaking to some of our clients and I can assure you the services we provide have a tremendous impact on the Austin community as a whole. Austin Free-Net predicts a future without digital borders. With your help our assistance will equip anyone to succeed in this digital age.
If you would like to donate to Austin Free-Net click here
If you would like to volunteer at Austin Free-Net click here
If you would like to read a client story I wrote click here
(This post is not in affiliation with Austin Free-Net)
Thank you to @capturedby_kt for the beautiful image!