The Voices of DII

Launched in 2009, the Digital Inclusion Initiative (DII) demonstrates that the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) can make a major impact on an unmet national need. Coming from all walks of life, more than 20,000 older adults have crossed America’s so-called digital divide, learning computer skills thanks to their own perseverance and one-on-one coaching by fellow older adults who are SCSEP participants.

In public settings including libraries, senior centers, faith-based organizations and community action agencies, some learners use a computer mouse for the very first time. Others master more advanced skills such as document creation. Whether they are using personal computers to communicate via email with friends and family, searching the Internet for important health and financial information, or hunting for employment, our DII coaches—mature, patient and positive—are there to serve them all.

Here are the voices of some of our DII learners and coaches. Their stories inspire and remind us that we are never too old to learn and engage.

Donna Camp

Donna Camp

Learner

  • Alexian Brothers
  • Senior Neighbors
  • Chattanooga, Tenn.

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In a DII session, when I see how easy it is for others to learn something new, that gives me the encouragement I need.

Iola Lowe

Iola Lowe

Learner

  • Community Action
  • Action Agency of Siouxland
  • Sioux City, Iowa

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Now I feel like there’s nothing I can’t do.

Ernestine Quick

Ernestine Quick

Learner

  • Family & Children’s Services of Central Maryland
  • Baltimore, Md.

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It builds you up, it makes you know you’re okay and not too old to learn.

Sally Bell

Sally Bell

Learner

  • Senior Citizens Employment & Training, Inc.
  • Eau Claire, Wis.

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Many more doors open for you if you know computers and all the things available on them to learn.

Willie Ford

Willie Ford

Coach

  • Alexian Brothers
  • Senior Neighbors
  • Chattanooga, Tenn.

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I have finally had the chance to use my computer skills…

Rita Birke

Rita Birke

Coach

  • Community Action
  • Action Agency of Siouxland
  • Sioux City, Iowa

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When I tell them I really understand because this is how I felt when I first started, they’re relieved…

Juanita Watkins

Juanita Watkins

Coach

  • Family & Children’s Services of Central Maryland
  • Baltimore, Md.

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I am humble and I look people in the eye and I tell them they can do it.

Patrick Carew

Patrick Carew

Coach

  • Senior Citizens Employment and Training, Inc.
  • Eau Claire, Wis.

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I’m helping people enjoy the computer age by crossing the digital divide.