November 2, 2020
By Pierre Young – Web/Social Media editor
College students and older adults have a phobia of technology. That’s when I come in as a Metropolitan State University student and AmeriCorps member in the Community Technology Empowerment Program working at my service site in the Metro/Dayton’s Bluff library and remote on Zoom. This is my second service term with AmeriCorps taking the place of Emily Myanna who was previously the CTEP member before.
I offer the same services such as tech help in open lab four times a week and facilitate workshops that help with basic Microsoft Office skills covering Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It is CTEP’s mission to spread the digital divide to help people to love the use of technology. I have a phobia of learning new things in CTEP. I attend training with other CTEPs from different service sites every first and third Friday of the month.There are instances where I don’t know what I’m doing and I feel like I’m shunned, but there are other CTEPs that have the resources to help the patrons we serve.
I joined CTEP right out of Saint Paul College earning my associate degree in Computer Graphics and Visualization. Most CTEPs have a background of education and pursue dreams of teaching people of color and minorities, along with teaching immigrants from different countries that need to be taught in this new age of technology. Other CTEPs speak different languages—particularly spanish—giving them an opportunity to teach their culture.
CTEP came at a time where I didn’t know what to do. I was working in food service for seven years until I realized I had to make better choices. I grew up helping my family by burning CDs, helping out with resumes and printing. Metro State was just around the corner for me. Before I graduated, I had to choose between a Ramsey County internship or CTEP.
Basically, my education was more important and it’s easy to go to class right after I’m done with my service site (which is mostly on St. Paul Campus in a different building).
I have a strong interest in video games. I was able to co-facilitate with one of the library staff Zorian Sayak at the library’s game night, which is run by the Metro library every third Tuesday of the month. Also, I created a gaming club for students to join as one of my service projects for CTEP. I worked with other CTEPs by organizing a video game conference for teens.
When I leave CTEP, I want to start a career that will help me lead in the path of gaming. I may not get there right away, but I do have a plan to smart off small using the skills I know can land me in my interest of graphic design. I was always into making flyers on Publisher when I was young and I would love to work for a company that has those opportunities.
I’m currently starting my own black business with my relatives creating t-shirts with logos. Whatever the future brings—at the end of my service, I’ll be ready to succeed.