Giving Thanks

As Thanksgiving approaches, it is a good time to reflect on our blessings and give thanks.

Without question, I am grateful for my wonderful family – my children, step-children, their spouses, grandchildren, Dad, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins who are like siblings, as well as my “chosen” family – special friends that are by my side, always.

I am grateful that my adopted state, Maine, has welcomed me and helped me become a “Mainer”. How lucky am I to live in such a beautiful and special place? How wonderful to nourish my entrepreneurial spirit here, surrounded by colleagues that inspire me to want to do more and to make Maine the very best place to live and work.

Speaking of colleagues, I am in awe of the broadband providers that are working so hard to make Maine a leader in broadband access, infrastructure and digital equity. We know that ubiquitous, world-class broadband will improve remote learning capacity and telehealth access, attract talent, enable remote work, sustain and grow businesses regardless of geography. This important work will not be finished until every home and business has a robust broadband connection. Every. Connection. Counts.

We have learned during this pandemic how important it is to increase digital equity and digital inclusion throughout the state. We must ensure that all Maine citizens have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy and economy. We know that digital equity is necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services and that we must advance digital inclusion by increasing access to broadband, computers, mobile devices, and expand digital literacy training for historically underserved individuals and communities.

Which brings me to giving my heartfelt thanks to the team at the National Digital Equity Center and the Maine Digital Inclusion Initiative. Their dedication to digital equity and digital inclusion is truly inspirational.

I have such gratitude to our Program Director, Marita, who keeps our organization moving forward like a well-oiled machine. And to Ina, our Administrator, who has been my rock and side-kick for so many years, and just rolls with every new idea.  We welcome Cynthia, our new Communications Coordinator, we know you are a wonderful addition to our team.

I give thanks and heartfelt appreciation to our outstanding and dedicated digital literacy instructors – Bethany, Tom, Lisa, Robert, Alex, David, Louis, Tina, Taylor and Marci.

Imagine the joy of an older student when they connect to their digital literacy instructor for the first time via videoconferencing? Envision what it is like when a student proclaims, “I’ve got it!” as they learn a new computer skill? And think of the pride the instructors have in their students that keep coming back for more classes to learn more. Lifelong learning…. If you dream it you can do it.

I am indebted to our many statewide partner organizations that work side-by-side with us on the Maine Digital Inclusion Initiative. Together, we are closing the digital divide and making Maine a leader in digital equity.

Gratitude. Appreciation. Thankfulness. Maine… my home.

Wishing you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving.