How would you use a computer if it were new to you?

Insight News ran an article this weekend that highlights some of the folks who have been taking advantage of public computer centers and training offering through the Broadband Access Project, which finances 12 new or enhanced community based public computer centers in four federally designated poverty zones in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Here are some of the stories they told:

  • Robin Lewis, a user at the Sabathani Community Center lab, is impressed by the quality of the computers to help her with her current job search. “It’s been very helpful as far as being functional enough for me to find and look for work effectively,” she says.
  • Charlie Stembreche, another user at Sabathani explains the importance of the Internet to him, “It helps me be aware of information that would otherwise be hard for me to get. In a practical sense, I’m trying to think, like if my bike broke down, where’s the local close by bike shop?”
  • Also, Shauna Miller, the BAP apprentice at Sabathani, talked about how she once helped a woman at the center to find affordable housing, “So she and her kids didn’t need to live in a shelter anymore!” Because of email and social networking sites such as Facebook, computer users are more able to stay in contact with loved ones and associates as well.