Connecting the Unconnected

By Beth Kincaid · Global Marketing and Corporate Communications · United States Respect and Care for Each Other

For the past 6 months, I've gotten the opportunity to teach and volunteer at a local social services center. My time spent helping clients developing computer skills has been an eye-opening experience. Many of them have never even turned on a computer, much less sent an email, surfed the Internet, or created a PowerPoint presentation. As a Gen Y that grew up with the Internet, I have to remind myself that many didn't have the same luxury. Through these clients, I've learned that technology can be scary. While it's second nature for me to learn by playing around with a new application or program until I figure it out, these clients don't have the confidence level for trial and error. Technology seems too overwhelming, too complex, and too time-consuming. With much patience and repetition, they are working towards a better life—whether it's landing a new job or just being able to communicate more with family and friends. I'm literally helping to connect the unconnected.

Most clients have never heard of Cisco, and it blows their mind when I tell them I work from home. Trying to explain what Cisco actually does is even harder. While they may not fully understand, I hope I'm at least showing them what our culture and vision is all about: changing the way we live, work, play, and learn.

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