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From Learner to Leader: Tracey Scott’s Journey as PCC’s New Digital Navigator

Written by: Campbell Mims, Sweatman Strategies, LLC

Tracey Scott’s story is one of resilience and transformation. Initially a certified nurse assistant, Tracey found herself at a crossroads, yearning to further her education and delve into the burgeoning field of telehealth. It was at this juncture that she encountered Palmetto Care Connections; an organization committed to bridging the digital divide in underserved communities. This encounter would not only catalyze her career but also ignite a passion for digital literacy that she now imparts to others.

Tracey’s introduction to PCC was serendipitous. “I was living in a complex where PCC held an event,” she recalls. Intrigued by the promise of free laptops and internet services, she saw an opportunity to fulfill her ambition of becoming a telehealth nurse. “I wanted to go back to school, and the free devices and internet service PCC offered were a significant draw,” she says. This marked the beginning of her journey with PCC, first as a participant eager to learn, and eventually as an integral member of their team.

With a foundational knowledge of computers, Tracey’s primary goal was to utilize PCC’s resources to further her education and attain her dream of becoming an LPN or RN. The transition from participant to digital navigator was a natural progression, driven by her inherent leadership skills and deep understanding of the community’s needs. “I was already a manager at my apartment complex, encouraging as many people as possible to get the devices,” she explains. This proactive approach and her personal connection to the community caught the attention of PCC’s leadership, who saw in Tracey a potential advocate and leader.

The transition to employment at PCC was seamless for Tracey. Her background and firsthand experience as a participant provided her with unique insights. “It was easy because I knew what it felt like to be there. I could help others who were ashamed or didn’t know how to use a device,” she says. Her empathy and ability to relate to the participants made her an effective digital navigator, someone who could bridge the gap between technology and those who needed it most. “Tracey has been a great addition to the Palmetto Connect Digitial Literacy team,” said Ashlee Parra, digital literacy program manager. “All the class participants are so excited to meet her in person after speaking on the phone. She truly makes people feel welcomed and understood.”

In her role, Tracey assists participants in navigating digital tools, from basic functions like turning on a computer to more complex tasks such as using telehealth applications. Her day-to-day responsibilities are diverse, encompassing affordable internet service guidance, device setup, and application support. “Many elderly people don’t know how to use computers. I help them with basics like sending emails and using MyChart,” she explains. One impactful moment Tracey recalls was helping a visually impaired participant. “She was excited about learning to use a laptop despite her vision impairments. I took the time to help her navigate the device, which was a blessing for both of us,” Tracey recounts.

Working at PCC has significantly evolved Tracey’s skill set. She has gained professionalism and workplace etiquette, learning from the supportive PCC team. “Kathy and the team have been nothing but nice, patient, and generous. They’ve helped me grow both professionally and personally,” she says. This nurturing environment contrasts with other workplaces that might not invest as much in their employees’ growth.

Tracey’s advice to current participants is rooted in persistence and lifelong learning. “Keep practicing your skills. It’s never too late to learn. The more you do something, the better you become,” she advises. This philosophy reflects her own journey of continuous learning and improvement.

What makes working at PCC enjoyable for Tracey is the sense of family and teamwork. “We all help one another. We eat together, lounge together, and celebrate together,” she says. This close-knit community fosters a supportive and collaborative environment, making PCC not just a workplace but a community of empowerment and growth.

Tracey Scott’s journey from a class participant to a digital navigator is a testament to the transformative power of digital literacy and community support. Her story underscores the importance of accessibility and education in empowering individuals and bridging the digital divide.