Tom Furrow moved to Maine from New Jersey as a young boy when his parents bought a general store, and now lives in the Lakes Region with his wife Bethany. He spent 30 years of his life working with adults with intellectual disabilities – a career he felt passionate about because of the unique population of people he was helping. But after working as an administrator for over a decade he decided it was time for a change.
Today he works part-time as a Digital Literacy Instructor teaching classes on evenings, in addition to a full-time job with the DOT. He first encountered the National Digital Equity Center as an AmeriCorps member and was later hired as a Digital Literacy Instructor. Before NDEC moved all classes to an online format due to the pandemic, Tom taught classes in Kennebec County.
Tom currently teaches Internet Safety along with several of our other classes. More than anything, he enjoys helping people develop the skills, strategies, and the confidence they need to figure out the best online resources for themselves. “Many people have actually stayed offline because of their fears,” says Tom. “Giving people tools to identify legitimate sites, to recognize other potential online hazards, and to have confidence in their knowledge of the internet, has helped them overcome those fears,” he says. As a teacher his style is laid back and relaxed. “I want the classes to first be fun and enjoyable, a way for people to connect in these trying times, and to make sure that people are interested and engaged, so to get the most out of our classes.” he says.
Any spare time Tom has these days is spent outside as much as possible, hiking and visiting new places in Maine. He has been learning how to fly drones and is taking aerial photography of Maine’s beautiful landscape.