Using Goals to Decrease the Digital Divide

October 22, 2021

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USI San Antonio resident, Estella, uses community support and motivation to not just achieve a specific goal for her family but also suggests her fellow neighbors do the same!

Estella Diaz has been receiving family support services from USI San Antonio since 2016 as a part of the Choice Neighborhood Grant (CNI). Today, she continues to work with USI San Antonio under the Successful Student Impact Council Grant.

She is a dedicated mother of four (4) and has attainable goals for herself and her children.

“I want my children to try different things and I am proud to display their certificates at home to show what they have done and the opportunities they have had.” – Estella Diaz, USI San Antonio resident and community leader.

Continuous Community Support

Estella’s children participate in the Roadrunner reader program and she connects with her community at “Wind Down Wednesday.” Both of these are virtual engagement events hosted by USI San Antonio staff.

These events help support and empower families by fostering community and creating positive support systems, which have become crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic to continuously engage with families.

Sustainable Family Goals

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Estella and her family felt the burden of the “digital divide”; where the lack of access to digital and online resources creates a barrier to opportunities otherwise available. So, Estella created the goal of getting a computer for her household.

This goal motivated Estella, and when the opportunity became available through the Connect Home Program with the San Antonio Housing Authority, she took advantage of the opportunity right away. She was able to earn a computer by completing a series of computer literacy classes.

A Quick Interview with Estella

USI Supportive Services Specialist, Felicia Turner, was able to directly interview Estella Diaz for the USI San Antonio’s Community Spotlight feature. Felicia spoke with Estella about her accomplishment and her next steps since becoming fully connected and decreasing her family’s digital divide. Below is the interview:

What was your strategy for completing the course?

Estella: I was able now to do the classes online from home, which helped me with my schedule.  I decided to try to do the classes once the kids were asleep, so I would not be distracted, and it worked!

How do you feel now that you have your own computer for your family?

Estella: I can get a lot of things done now that I could not do before like completing applications. I am getting things done! Also, I don’t have to worry about putting my information on other computers. I feel more secure and my privacy is being protected.

Are you glad you achieved this goal?

Estella: Yes. I was nervous at first, but once I started, I was like I can do this, and I did it! I hope other people take advantage of the program.

Do you have any other goals around computers and technology?

Estella: My next goal is for all my children to have their own devices.

Community Advocacy and Growth

Even though Estella was able to provide for her family, she took this opportunity to advocate for the rest of her community. She shared her experience with completing the program while juggling family life at a USI San Antonio “Wind Down Wednesday” group meeting. She also shared the information with her community group through her social media on her new computer.

The USI San Antonio team is proud of Estella Diaz for completing her goal and being a community advocate!

By Felicia Turner, Supportive Services Specialist

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