HeadShot[1]There are people across Chicago working in digital inclusion. They are trainers, librarians, teachers, nonprofit representatives, community and philanthropists. They are promoting equitable access to the Internet, hardware, and digital learning opportunities. This about shining a light on their stories, insights, and wisdom.

Tell us about yourself. What do you do and what motivates you?

Hi! I’m David Lane. I am the youth instructor for the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago. I run our two youth programs, TechGYRLS & 3Dyouth. What motivates me is the excitement of knowing the amazing ideas that they will come up with will be beyond anything that I could have ever dreamed of. My job is the best in the world because I am constantly amazed by their imaginations & their unlimited potential & just being a part of unleashing that gives me so much joy & fulfillment.

In your opinion, why is digital inclusion important today?

Digital inclusion is important because it benefits everyone. It’s more than just access to technology or services, it is a benefit because we are exposed to ideas & perspectives different from our own, which broadens our worldview and increases our capacity for empathy for others different from ourselves.

What’s your biggest challenge that you face in your role?

The biggest challenge that I face is pessimism. People who refuse to believe that the choices & decisions that they make can, in fact, make a difference in their lives & the lives of those around them. That pessimism immobilizes a parent and causes them to limit the options for their children’s future.

What’s one lesson have you learned in your role?

One lesson that I have learned is that enthusiasm & positivity are essential tools in my role as instructor & techno-evangelist.

How can people partner with you? How can they get in touch with you?

I’m always looking for new & varied experiences for the participants of my programs. Exposing them to as many STEAM-related concepts is essential for their well-rounded development. Anyone that is looking to share their experiences with our youth is welcome to contact me for more details. I can be contacted via email @ david.lane@ywcachicago.org

Do you know a local champion forwarding Internet access, technology training, and inclusive tech? Tell us!