In May 2013 the Community Resource Room (CRR) bid farewell to outstanding Technology Assistance volunteer, Kimberly Villalobos. Kimberly, born in Los Angeles to Salvadoran immigrants, is the first in her family to graduate from college receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Information Systems from San Francisco State University. As a Technology Assistance volunteer, Kimberly worked closely with community members, teaching them basic computer skills such as how to use an email account, Microsoft Office applications, and how to navigate the web.
Using her personal experience and knowledge, Kimberly has provided one-on-one assistance with computers. She shares that many Latino immigrants visiting the Resource Room come in asking “…‘what’s an email account?’” Villalobos continues that other barriers Latino visitors face is “…not only do they have to face that language barrier but there’s that digital barrier on top of the language barrier. Everything’s gonna move to digital, so it’s really important for people to be exposed to it…at least to have the basic skills, like Internet search navigation.”
Kimberly’s compassion for others made her a popular volunteer, with clients consistently making appointments to learn from her. She tells of a couple regular students who she witnessed make progress and gain independence throughout visits with her, “There was this one guy who – he never missed an appointment – and he came in just knowing how to use the Desktop and the basic function of a computer but not the web browsers.” Kimberly showed this client how to navigate the Internet by “start[ing] really small – learning the different types of web browsers, what each browser did. In the end he learned how to go on CalJobs, how to make his profile, post his resume.”
Although Kimberly’s main motivation to do volunteer work in the CRR was “the satisfaction knowing that I was helping people and doing something worthwhile with my time,” she also believes that her time here has helped in her own job search: “People do like to see that you do non-profit work. Recently when I got the interview at SFO he was actually pretty happy that I do some non-profit work.”
The Women’s Building would like to congratulate Kimberly for graduating from SFSU in May 2013, and wish her the best of luck for the future. We appreciate the dedication that Kimberly has contributed to the CRR, and are pleased to know that both she and the clients have been positively affected by her time with us. “I felt like the whole experience has made me grow a little bit… grow as an individual and value people more. ‘Cause sometimes we meet people but we don’t know what they’ve been through – what their background is – and once you get to know them it’s like your perspective on that person changes so much, and that’s what I felt the whole experience has taught me. I’m really gonna miss this place.”
Maya Finlay, Community Technology Facilitator