When moving back to New York from California in 2017, Emily wanted to do something to be helpful and useful in her community. She decided to search the web for volunteer opportunities that fit her skills, that’s how she came across our program. The structure of the Digital Literacy Program at Literacy Rochester drew her in. She found the perfect spot in our program at the Lincoln Branch Library and currently volunteers on Saturdays.
Emily saw firsthand the struggle her parents endured with literacy, while growing up in New York. That is what inspired her to help others to overcome the difficulties of learning a new language and navigating the world around them. She believes that everyone should be able to access, navigate and understand facts online to gain knowledge and reach their goals.
Emily is one of the most empathetic volunteers we have. She loves having new experiences and meeting new people at each of her shifts. Her favorite thing to work on is collaborating with customers to build resumes and complete job applications. She finds comfort in helping others broaden their career aspirations with hopes that they are more successful in their search thanks to her guidance.
As we spoke she told me of one experience that had that really stuck with her. She was assisting a gentleman with building his resume and as they were adding his work history, he told her that one of his previous jobs was clearing the rubbish from the World Trade Center area after 9-11. It brought her great pride knowing that she could help him in return for his hard work to rebuild after such an attack on our country.
As we chatted, Emily shared her best piece of advice for other volunteers, “Always log off of your accounts and use incognito mode if you can so that websites don’t track or save your information.”
When Emily is not working or volunteering you will find her playing board games, of which she has quite the collection, and listening to music. Last fall, she was busy with attending weddings, including her own, where in her own words “I was blessed to marry my best friend.”
Congratulation Emily and thank you for being a part of our Literacy Rochester family.
Digital Literacy, a program of Literacy Rochester, helps adults become fully engaged in their community as citizens, parents, consumers, and workers. The Digital Literacy program is provided free of charge on a one-to-one, drop-in basis in partnership with OACES.