Giving New Skills Back to the Community


Meet the Free-Spirited Traci

By Bock Szymkowicz, Career Development Specialist 

Traci Denise Barnes describes her Byte Back class as “free spirited, so you can be who are in class.” She brings that spirit back to class and also gives a full spirit back to the community.

Before coming to Byte Back, Traci didn’t know how to turn the computer on. Now, she has used new skills to get hired and give back to the community!

Traci came to Byte Back in February 2016 to take PC for Beginners. She has since moved onto the intermediate Office Track course.

Traci proudly talks about her new skills, which include navigating her email, making tables in Microsoft Excel, and inserting images into those tables – all new to someone who didn’t know how to turn on a computer a year ago.

Thanks to her new technical skills, she was hired at DC Regional Addiction Prevention, Inc. (RAP), a nonprofit that serves people living with HIV/AIDS and conducts prevention and community outreach to increase the awareness of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse.

She works as a House Manager part time, allowing her to continue studying in her Office Track class during the day. At RAP, she escorts clients to court for pretrials, helps maintain the facilities, and uses her personal experience to connect with her clients.

In the future, Ms. Barnes plans to pursue Byte Back’s CompTIA A+ Certification Program to enter into the IT field. She hopes to find a job in cyber security “for the safety of the people,” she says.

This career path would follow the steps of her father, who had a law enforcement career. As Traci says, “Justice is coded in our DNA.”

We wish Traci best of luck on her journey, and thank her for her service to the community through RAP.