Dreams from Zimbabwe
by Megan Trotter
Shannon landed in San Francisco from Zimbabwe in May of 2012. He had no friends or relatives in the area, had never been to San Francisco, and had only seen the city on a television program and thought it seemed like a nice place to be. Upon arriving, Shannon found himself utilizing the services at Glide Memorial Church. After speaking with the staff there and expressing his desire to attain employment, Shannon was pointed in the direction of the Tenderloin Technology Lab (TTL), a partnership between San Francisco Network Ministries and the St. Anthony Foundation.
Shannon arrived at the TTL after searching for jobs door-to-door. He quickly realized that he would need some computer skills in order to find employment. After attending the orientation, Shannon took every TTL class that he could—Basic and Intermediate Computer Skills, Introduction to Micro-Labor, and many workshop classes. He also worked closely with TTL volunteers to build his resume. With his newly-crafted resume and developed computer skills, Shannon landed a job at a supermarket. He says that the certificates earned in his courses helped him get the job.
But Shannon yearns for more. Back in Zimbabwe he worked as an accountant, and he soon hopes to get back into that field. He is currently enrolled in accounting classes at San Francisco City College. Shannon says that his computer-based courses are less challenging because he has a strong foundation in computer skills from the TTL. His story is a great example of the power of computers to transform someone’s life. In six months, Shannon has built a strong foundation of skills, secured a stable job, and is working to continue his education and his career path. All of us at the TTL are very proud of Shannon’s work and wish him the best in the future.
Megan Trotter is the manager of the Tenderloin Technology Lab