CHARLESTON, W.VA. — Future Generations Graduate School and Mission West Virginia know the Mountain State, from Pendleton County to Kanawha County and beyond.
Based in West Virginia, these nonprofit educational organizations have trained West Virginia residents for several years to use computers and access information through the Internet.
They are having success. From 2010-13, more than 14,000 residents, young and old, arrived at the computer labs with plenty of questions and even uncertainties.
Could they learn how to use a computer and take advantage of broadband?
How would learning about computers and the Internet benefit them and their families?
Future Generations Graduate School recorded some comments from those who learned computer skills through one-on-one sessions with local computer mentors. Here are a few examples that show how West Virginia residents reacted to the training:
- “I have found out a lot about my family by doing online genealogy research. I have also been working on furthering my education by attending online college classes.”
- “High-speed Internet has given me the chance to stay connected with my family and friends on Facebook. I also access the Internet to look up medical terms and medicine for my mom. The Internet is great to use. Broadband Internet is the way to go to look up anything on the Internet – it’s fast.”
- “My oldest son lives in Tennessee and our schedules conflict so much that we never get to talk to one another. Now I can e-mail him, and I am learning to use Facebook.”
- “Life is so much easier with Internet. We live in a rural area, and gas is expensive. I can research online and make consumer choices without wasting time and gasoline.”
- “It has helped me with saving money by printing out coupons or to just look at a map when I don’t know where I’m going. It’s also a great help when you don’t understand certain things about health. Because I’m not able to work, the Internet helps me with skills that I can do in my own home.”
Those are just a few comments from West Virginia residents who now understand the benefits of computer technology and broadband. Families with children, senior citizens who want to stay in touch with their families, and households that want to live more efficiently and save money now see value in computers and broadband. They recognize they can learn, save money, and stay in touch with loved ones.
“Wild, Wonderful & Wired” is a collaboration of Mission West Virginia, Future Generations Graduate School and Frontier Communications. Mission West Virginia and Future Generations Graduate School are nonprofit organizations that have provided computer and Internet training to West Virginia residents. Readers interested in learning more about computers and using the Internet are encouraged to contact local friends, neighbors or organizations that provide training. A list of computer labs with trained mentors is available online at: www.futurewv.org/computer-centers. In addition, persons interested in receiving training or purchasing a computer through Mission West Virginia may call 304-523-0623.