Volunteer Spotlight: Mike

Mike joined the Digital Literacy Volunteer team in 2022. He was particularly intrigued with the program’s mission, which allows individuals to receive support with technology, digital tasks, and devices. He hoped that this volunteering opportunity would help him re-enter the workforce. 

After 35 years of working as a Chemical Engineer and then transitioning to Business Analysis, Mike decided to retire early. After being out of work for a few years, he sought out a way to become active in the community. Mike heard about Literacy Rochester, and specifically the Digital Literacy program, through classic word-of-mouth through another nonprofit he was associated with. He remembers thinking, “that sounds like a good place to volunteer with my experience.” Mike saw this opportunity as a chance to help others, give back to the community, and serve as a steppingstone to re-enter the workforce. 

To Mike, digital literacy means being able to navigate the technological world. He assists adults at the Winton Branch Library with various tasks such as changing device settings, navigating a computer, transferring data, creating resumes, and accessing online classes. He finds fulfillment in helping others and seeing them smile. Mike found that putting a smile on a customer’s face makes them feel better about asking for the assistance they need, and finds that they are always grateful for the assistance he provides. He also enjoys guiding customers in the right direction. Sometimes customers are on the right track but need a helpful nudge to find the solution. Although Mike initially had some hesitations about volunteering, he has found his volunteer role to be a very rewarding experience. 

“Most customers require only basic help with technology. It feels good to help others though. It helps me to be the kind of person I want to be,” Mike said. 

When Mike is not volunteering, he spends his days with his loving wife of 36 years. His family is most important to him. A motto that Mike lives by comes from Henry Ford, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” He loves to bake, garden, take walks and play board games with his wife, and tell some pretty funny dad jokes. 

You can find Mike for digital literacy assistance at the Winton Branch Library on Wednesdays from 10am to 1pm. Find the entire sites and schedules list: HERE 

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