Hello and Welcome Friends!
Digital Bridges is a labor of love and very much a part of who I am as a person, so I thought it fitting to write you a note in my own voice. This organization started with an inkling, followed by a lightning bolt.
I was studying for my Master’s degree when in the midst of a Computer Networking and Security class with a particularly sadistic professor I had a realization. I am a professional with over 15 years of business experience and consider myself to be fairly tech-savvy, but here I was in this class about the fundamentals of how the technology that we ALL use on a daily basis really functions, and I was struggling big time. We’re talking tears and anxious, frustrated sweat, it wasn’t pretty. It was humbling and eye-opening.
It struck me that I was learning very practical skills and information, things that everyone who uses technology, smartphones, computers, tablets, even debit cards, should all understand. Like the rules of the road, or the license you must obtain to drive a car, we need to be prepared to navigate the technology in our lives.
The real lighting bolt came when my personal life took a very unexpected turn. Someone very close to me suffered a mental breakdown and committed a serious crime. Suddenly my average life was turned upside down. Like Alice down the rabbit hole, I saw a very different side of the world and learned things about our legal system I never would have otherwise known. It was the most difficult and painful time of my life, but also the most enlightening.
In respect to Digital Bridges, what I took away from my experience with our prison system was the level of isolation from the world faced by inmates, including from technology. I also took note of a system that, although it tries, fails to provide the support returning citizens need to be successful.
Technology is a big part of that equation. Can you imagine being incarcerated since the 1980s, to be dropped back into the world with no training on smartphones, tablets, computers, or the internet? Imagine having no knowledge of Google, Facebook, Amazon, YouTube, or what streaming even means! It’s intimidating for anyone! This, of course, is only one small facet of the needs and challenges returning citizens face, but it is one that I can help with.
In the words of my favorite cousin I “always did like an underdog”.
I am a firm believer that with a basic internet connection, you can learn, do, or be anything you want. Couple that with solid business skills, and the professional world is your oyster. I believe that the internet has the potential to be a great equalizer in terms of education and career preparedness...if those who need it most are able to access the tools.
These beliefs drive everything I do, and the organization as a whole. I like to say, “I used to help build companies, now I help build people.” Today, that’s what my life is focused on. Teaching people the practical technology skills we all need, and giving them the tools and support to make any dream a reality.
Welcome, I hope you’ll join us!
With love and enthusiasm,
P.S. If you’d like a deeper understanding of my professional background, visit my LinkedIn page, and feel free to connect!