Volunteer Spotlight: Nancy Bernola

Nancy believes in the intrinsic need to leave this world a better place. Her positivity is contagious, and it is not hard to see why so many customers come back to visit with or ask her assistance again and again.

After retiring, Nancy was looking for ways to give back and find more purpose to her days. “If you are retired, look for volunteer opportunities and step out of your comfort zone.” She found Literacy Rochester in a local newspaper ad and decided to attend a Volunteer Information Session. She signed up and began as a tutor in the Instructional Program. Nancy soon realized she wanted to do more and looked at the Digital Literacy Program as another way that she could encourage adult literacy students and the community around her to reach their potential.

Nancy became a Digital Volunteer, then known as a Digital Navigator, in February of 2017. There was some hesitation in the beginning, as she did not feel she was an expert on computers and worried that she would not have all the answers. She took on the challenge and learned that being a Digital Volunteer means far more than just knowing all the answers.  It is about assisting individuals and teaching them how to navigate the internet, understand technology and communicate with the world around them utilizing digital means.

Adults at the Arnett library came in with various needs and Nancy was there to assist them. The staff and librarians at Arnett Branch Library welcomed her into their family with open arms.

Nancy most enjoys helping customers with resumes and job applications.

“Navigating through [job search sites] can be difficult sometimes, it is important to know the key words you will need when filling out an application. Being able to help someone move to the next chapter of their life, is a rewarding feeling.”

Since the closing of our sites in mid-March, Nancy has missed her connections with customers and staff at the Arnett Library so she decided to become a Live Chat Agent  and can be found for support through our website at Digital.LiteracyRochester.org. She is committed to continually helping adults and make a difference in their own lives.

Nancy shared some words of wisdom, “Volunteers, don’t be afraid to help and the reverse goes for customers, don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all need to work together to make this world a better place.”


When she is not volunteering, you can find Nancy snuggled up with a good book, listening to music or watching her favorite TV show, Game of Thrones. She is a dedicated friend and often spends time helping those around her when they need a little support, a ride, or a helping hand.

Last June, Literacy Rochester awarded Nancy with the President’s Award for her selfless help, patience, and dedication. We are lucky to have such an outstanding volunteer who cares for her community and gives willingly of her time and talents for the benefit of others.  We would like to thank Nancy for being such a compassionate and committed volunteer.

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