On the morning of September 13th, the PVT auditorium welcomed dozens of people refuge from the rain with the enticing aroma of fresh donuts and coffee to go with an extra helping of digital knowledge. PVT’s Community Care Event was dedicated to empowering seniors in our community with essential information on internet safety, computer support and the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program.

NM State Representative for District 66, Jimmy Mason addressed the attendees with a warm welcome. The event was opened by Alison Riley, the Public Information Office for the NM Office of Broadband Access and Expansion (OBAE), who joined remotely, and let people know that on both the State and Federal level, connecting people with the internet is a priority. Along with that comes the responsibility of keeping those same people safe online.

The first presenter was Eddy Methola, PVT’s Internal Network Technician. His presentation started by shining a light on the fact that our older generations didn’t grow up in an internet connected world. This ultimately results in them not being as familiar with the risks and threats that come with being online.

The audience was engaged by the practical tips and tricks Eddy shared. From crafting strong passwords to recognizing phishing attempts, seniors learned how to confidently navigate the digital realm. There were several “aha” moments and nods of understanding from the audience. They were full of questions, and were able to see hands-on examples of how to navigate through the digital world safely.

Following Eddy’s discussion on internet safety was Ryane Keithley from PVT’s eTech online support. Joining remotely, he gave a presentation on how to tackle common internet connected device issues. Attendees discovered practical solutions to everyday problems and gained valuable insights into keeping their devices running smoothly. He also educated them on how to get help from a trusted source on more difficult device problems that require a professional to solve.

Closing out the event was a presentation by Brianna Willard, PVT’s Marketing Analyst, where she shared that PVT’s mission is to give access to the digital world to everyone, while keeping it affordable. She outlined the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP offers discounts on internet service to eligible households. The attendees learned how to take advantage of this program, and how it can help them connect with loved ones, access vital information, and explore a world of online opportunities.

More than just a learning experience, our event was about empowerment. Everyone left with a newfound sense of confidence in navigating the digital age. The passion of our presenters for helping others embrace technology was evident in the smiles on attendees’ faces.

The journey does not stop here, as PVT is eager to hear from you. We would like you to share your thoughts on what you would like to see in our future presentations and events. Contact us at [email protected] and let us know if you would like this type of presentation in your community, or if you want us to cover other topics to help you brave this new online world.