Goodbye Frustration, Hello Confidence: Opening Doors with Technology

Lillie Mae Thomas crop

Lillie Mae Thomas logs on at Byte Back. Photo by Yvette Scorse

By Laura Weiner, AmeriCorps Computer Literacy Instructor

“This class has been a launching pad for me to do what I have wanted to do for a long time,” Lillie Mae Thomas says as her six-week PC for Beginners class was winding up.

Mae has been on her computer literacy journey for quite a while. She studied at Byte Back before but had trouble grasping the concepts. Although she didn’t pass the first time, she obtained a laptop at home and was dedicated to learning. “Over time, I learned a lot through painful trial and too much error,” she says.

After practicing on her own, she was motivated to take the class again. “I’ve had to face technology little by little alone, and now I’m ready to be taken by the hand,” Mae says. That’s just the guidance she found at Byte Back, where much of the frustration she was feeling about using technology eased up.

“I feel so lost in this modern world of technology even my phone is a challenge,” she confesses. “Many people including my daughter had tried to teach me to send email attachments, but I just couldn’t get it.” Mae’s daughter is a computer software specialist and has volunteered with Byte Back in the past.

On the day of her final PC for Beginners assessment, Mae was nervous. The final assessment requires students to send an email attachment, something she had trouble with in the past. But she had learned, started her exam with more confidence, and passed. The moment she found out that she passed the assessment and the course, her smile spread.

“This class has given me the confidence I need to do so many things,” she says.

Mae hopes to move onto the intermediate class, Office Track. As a Bible study teacher and a hopeful future English as a second language instructor, she plans to use her new technology skills to utilize more visual aids in the classroom and as a homework satellite for her students.

Overall, she’s ready to leave the frustration behind. “I’m ready to move forward with technology working for me!” Mae says.