AFN Helps Student Rebuild Life


Photo of Chris Smith.Thanks to the resources of Austin-Free Net and its partner organization ARCH, Christopher Smith is rebuilding his life.

Chris faced a troubled childhood and struggled in college and the workforce as an adult. Jobless and homeless, he began taking residence at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH) six months ago. It was there he came across the Austin Free-Net computer lab at the ARCH and its main trainer, Emily Plunkett—or as she’s more commonly known, “the Computer Lady.”

“Ms. Plunkett has helped me in various ways. She’s connected me to AFN staff and others who share the same aspirations and visions that I do, to information pertaining to the ideas and works that I generate, and helped to organize my ideas/work.”

With the help of Emily and AFN, Chris has been able to explore professional channels that truly capture his interest. Of the many skills he’s acquired, he has learned to use Google to research his skills and professional interests, WordPress to develop an online resume and Facebook, as well as, Meetup for social and professional networking.

The months of hard work and networking has paid off, as he’s recently acquired a position with an online start-up where he researches funeral home information using Google Maps. He’s excited for the job and pleased to be putting his technical skills to use.

Chris thanks the ARCH and Austin-Free Net for receiving him warmly, supporting his varied interests, and helping him focus his energy on solid goals. “Thanks to their support, I have acquired a new outlook on life. No matter what situation I am in, there are always ways to overcome life’s problems, and there are many people along the way that will do all they can to help.”

See more success stories from Austin Free Net’s ARCH lab  on AFN’s YouTube Channel or come visit one of AFN’s computer labs around Austin.

By: Vickie Valadez, Austin Free-Net Volunteer

Editor’s Note:

As of January 2014, Chris is now attending Huston Tillotson University in Austin. We wish him the best of luck on his new journey.