I knew when I started this venture that it would be unfamiliar territory. For over thirty-two years, I had been an engineer in a company, with well-defined roles and reporting structure. Now, I’m on my own, doing what I think is helpful, and talking to people when I find them and hope that they’re willing to make time for me.
So far, I’ve been delighted on that front. From my initial conversations with Elizabeth Higgins and Maryanna Milton at www.peoplesrc.org, I received encouragement to expand my initial scope. I learned more about the history of PRC from Frank Goetz, and John Victor gave me an overview of the operations and exposed me to the refurbishing community, specifically about Sarah Cade at www.pcrr.com, and Jim Lynch at www.techsoup.org. Through my contacts in my birth city of Milwaukee, I found Tom Schneider at www.coa-yfc.org. Without exception, they have responded to my cold calls with “Sure, how can I help?” They shared their time, expertise, and insights.
As I talk to each new person, I learn more about what is currently being done and possibilities of new directions that are worth pursuing. And most of the time, I am presented with a new contact from whom I can hope to learn more.
The possibilities are exciting. With each contact, I can see better which avenues to pursue. Sometimes, this is following the path I’ve been on, and sometimes it shows me a trail I hadn’t known about. Either way, I’m making progress toward the goal of helping agencies to bridge the digital divide. With no maps to guide me, I’m finding my own way, and I look forward to the next steps.