Kat Fischer is a librarian, playwriter, and an IT professional. She currently works for Harris Beach PLLC in the law library and assists with their IT needs. Being a Librarian, Kat knew about Literacy Rochester and the unique impact that the Digital Literacy Program has made in the community.
Kat chose to get involved with Digital Literacy in the beginning of 2017. It was around this time that she read an article that put Rochester, New York as one of the top 25 cities in the United States most impacted by the digital divide. She sees that the implications of the digital divide can be devasting to our community as a whole because of those unable to access needed information.
“Too many people don’t have the skills to navigate today’s technology.”
Becoming a volunteer was a bit intimidating at first and Kat told me that she was unsure of her abilities and afraid that she did not have the skills to assist other. She feared that she might come across an issue while working with a customer and that she would not know how to help. To her surprise, it was something that came natural to her. She is a great listener and loves to connect with people and those qualities were far more important than knowing all the answers right away.
Being able to learn and connect with others is very rewarding. Helping her customers to build their resumes and reach their employment goals also helps her to feel more connected and successful. Employment is about more than just the resume and Kat knows that being a Digital Volunteer is about more than just teaching computer skills, it is also about life skills. Helping to give tips about interviewing etiquette is something she often adds to the time spent with a customer. Kat believes that recognizing the skill sets you have and learning to grow them are beneficially for employment and life.
Women who strive to achieve the impossible are Kat’s inspiration. She told me of Nellie Bly, an American journalist, among other things, who is best known for her trip around the world in 1889. Kat is inspired by the women who were ahead of their time and made history by doing what has not been done before. Bly’s trip was record breaking in her time and she did the trip mostly traveling solo. Having the courage to try the un-tried and defy expectations is something Kat strives for in her own life.
“Things that don’t seem possible might be, if you just have the courage to pursue them.” Bly could be behind Kat’s love of travel. Kat and her husband have traveled the world and been to many places that some people only dream of. Her favorite location was definitely South Africa, the scenery was incredibly beautiful and there is a variety of things to experience from safari experiences and seeing large animals in their natural setting, the wine regions, and famous cities as well.
Kat is not boastful about it, but she is also a playwright. She enjoys being creative and she is quite good at it. Some of her works have been performed at Blackfriars Theatre in Rochester including Melanie and the Record Man an autobiographical play which is one of her favorites and allowed her to meet and write about Woodstock icon Melanie Safka.
We are very thankful to have Kat as one of our volunteers and that she shares her talents and her outlook on life with our staff and volunteers. Thank you, Kat.