The Senior Student Who Never Stops Learning

By Jennifer Washington, AmeriCorps Computer Literacy Instructor  

Doris Plater studentFor many, age is nothing but a state of mind, especially if you’re anything like Doris Plater. As an active member of the Senior Wellness Center, Doris takes advantage of the many programs offered to her fellow “seasoned” companions. Whether it’s zumba, water aerobics, or tai chi,  you can certainly find Doris soaking up the plentiful resources offered at this center. She also joined Byte Back’s PC for Beginners class this term.

She attributes much of her motivation for taking advantage of neighborhood opportunities to her teenage years as a student and graduate of the now-closed Spingarn High School in Northeast DC. Prior to graduating, Doris participated in a number of programs offered at Spingarn – tennis, field hockey, archery, and even ballroom dancing.

Born and raised in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Washington, DC, Doris and her family did not have a lot of money.

Even though we were poor, my mother told us that we were rich with education,” she said. For Doris, education was always an important investment for her and her family.

When school finished for the summer, she remembers it continuing. Every day, her mother packed her a lunch, and it was off to the museums downtown for further learning.

“Exposure to certain things was always at the top of my mother’s list for my family,” Doris shared. “She did what she had to in order to make sure we developed a thirst for knowledge.”

Today, Doris has not stopped thirsting for knowledge.

As a Byte Back student, Doris has truly pushed herself to become as computer savvy as possible. Prior to completing PC for Beginners 2, Doris had slipped in and out of her personal and professional use of computers.

Starting as a clerk typist, Doris worked for the federal government for 40 years at the Government Printing Office. She has truly seen the evolution of computers over the last several decades and still recalls learning to type with the Gregg Typing manual.

“While I may not be able to keep up with all of the new technology you young folks are talking about, I do want to be familiar and have a voice in the conversation. Byte Back certainly has restored my confidence in my computer skills,” Doris said.



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