UnidosUS is working to strengthen Latino digital skills for the future. Here’s a look into our Digital Skill for Life program helping Latinx adult become digitally literate.
UnidosUS’s Digital Skills for Life (DS4L) program is a digital literacy program that covers the basics such as hardware, software, internet connection and mechanics, professional communication, social media, apps, and internet safety and security. A culturally and linguistically competent curriculum was designed for Latinx adults, available in both English and Spanish. Through this initiative, participants gain critical digital skills needed to become better prepared to meet the demands of school, work, and life.
Here’s why the Digital Skills for Life Program matters when it comes to bringing equity for Latinos:
- 55% of Latino workers in the U.S. have digital skills gaps.
- Hispanics and Black people are 10 years behind white people when it comes to levels of broadband access.
- 33% of all immigrant workers have no digital skills and 29 percent have limited digital skills.
We partnered with Google.org and 30 community-based organizations across the country to implement the DS4L program. Here are some stories about how participants are benefiting from their new skills.
Chicano Federation in San Diego, CA
Mirna is in her sixties and has her own family childcare business. She participated in the DS4L program through our Affiliate organization Chicano Federation in San Diego, CA with the intention of gaining skills to help her run her small business. Mirna’s highest level of education is high school, and she says that she struggled in school because she is hard of hearing. She appreciates that her DS4L instructor sits close to her and provides written information, slowing down and repeating themselves when needed. Mirna says she felt comfortable and supported in class, and that she’s confident in the skills she has learned to help her small business.
El Sol Science & Arts Academy of Santa Ana in Santa Ana, CA
Flavia is a single mom of six who volunteers at our Affiliate organization El Sol Science & Arts Academy of Santa Ana in Santa Ana, CA, and she jumped at the opportunity when she learned that the DS4L class was being offered there. Flavia wanted to learn more about technology, knowing that it could help her support her children in their studies and future careers. Prior to attending the class, she had never used a laptop and didn’t know how to use her smart phone to its fullest potential. She learned how to personalize her own laptop, connect to the internet, send email and she began to see the endless possibilities that technology offered. Flavia is grateful for the DS4L class and knows that the skills she learned can potentially change her life and the lives of her children for the better.
Enterprising Latinas in Wimauma, FL
Gloria is in her sixties and was hired at a local childcare center as a teacher assistant. However, her supervisor told her she needed basic digital literacy skills to start the job because her daily tasks included logging students in using a tablet. She joined DS4L class at our Affiliate organization Enterprising Latinas in Wimauma, FL with a strong desire to learn. As a result of the training, Gloria gained confidence using a computer, created an email account, learned how to secure passwords, and used the calendar, among other skills she needed for her job and life. Gloria maximized the opportunity provided by the DS4L because her job depends on having digital literacy skills.
Acero Schools in Chicago, IL
Leticia is in her 50s and she attended the DS4L course at our Affiliate organization Acero Schools in Chicago, IL. She says that up until this course she could not attend online meetings for children’s school, “I didn’t turn on the camera, and now I can put different designs behind my screen.” The DS4L course has helped her become a more active participant in her children’s lives and can meet with teachers, send emails and make appointments. Thanks to the course she’s also able to stay in touch with people on social media and manage her bank account online.