Spotlight: Digital Initiatives

Sandra Villalobos had just lost her job of 25 years when she found out about PUENTE’s Digital Initiatives. After completing the Intro to Computers course, she gained valuable skills and found a new job at Allstate Insurance in Boyle Heights.

When Sandra became unemployed, fear gripped her. She had never pursued higher education after earning her GED and becoming a mother at the age of 16. In her career, she had prioritized community engagement more than computer technology. However, she knew that any new job would require a basic knowledge of computer programs, the internet, and even social media.

“I took for granted that others would always be there to help me with technology,” Sandra says. “But I was wrong. I had to learn for myself or else get left behind.” From her first day at PUENTE, Sandra felt at ease in a class of her peers. Her instructor was patient and put her fears of technology to rest within a few sessions.

During her first day on the job, Sandra learned that it was a paperless office. Every task required the use of a computer or the internet. At first, fear swept over her again. Then, she remembered the skills her PUENTE instructor had taught her. That’s when she knew that her fears of technology were conquered.

“I think a lot of adults feel that it’s too late to learn, so why bother? I would tell them that you have to overcome your fears and learn. I will always be grateful for PUENTE.”