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Wednesday 23 September 2015 marked the celebration for 25 graduates from the 64th e-Learning course. This brings the total number of families who have passed through the e-Learning computers in homes courses to 1,780.

Executive Project Manager, Tim Davies-Coley welcomed special guest, Sose Annandale, Principal of Russell School, who had come to present the graduates with their certificates. He also welcomed the Chair of the Trust, Graham Kelly, Board member, Wendy Betteridge, and thanked the tutors and staff who provide such a memorable experience for all the participants.

After congratulating the graduates, Tim handed over to Graham Kelly. 'Every graduation is another step on the road to closing the digital divide', said Graham. 'If, when we started in 2001, we'd realised that, however many families we trained, there'd be hundreds more without computers needing our help, we might never have embarked on the journey! But here in Porirua, we started the first Computers in Homes Trust in New Zealand and it's now spread from Kaitaia to Invercargill'. 

Graham expressed great pleasure in introducing Sose Annandale, Principal of Russell School. She warmly congratulated the graduates and said how proud she was of each and every one of them. 'I can't tell you how important it is for the children's learning', she said, 'to have a computer in their home'. She enjoyed handing out the certificates, particularly those to parents of some of the children in her school.

Following the presentation of the certificates, 8Gb memory sticks were presented as prizes to those who had written the best 'stories' about their experiences. There were three highly commended, a runner-up and finally, the prize for the winning story, a webcam, went to Nicolle Louez, seen here being congratulated by Tim.

Here is her story.

'My name is Nicolle Louez and I live in Porirua. I am 40 years old and I have 3 children living with me.

I have been an at-home Mum for the last 20 years, so I have never worked before and, to be honest, was terrified of starting!

A friend of mine came up to me one day while I was waiting to pick up my son and told me about this course she was doing and how much fun it was and also how much she was learning. At first I didn’t want to go as I thought, ”I can’t do it“, because I knew nothing about computers and I didn’t want to look stupid in front of everyone.

It took me a while of hearing her saying, “You CAN do it”! and things like “You ARE awesome!” She also said, "stay positive and enjoy life!"

Now look at me, I’m here, I’m learning and having fun. I’m looking forward to helping my children with homework on the computer rather than sitting back feeling useless.

I recommend to anyone who is, or should I say was, in the same boat as I was, to definitely give this course a go! It’s really not that hard, you might surprise yourself and enjoy it.

So thank you soooo much Hayneen. You made me realise that I could do it and without that kind support I’d still be at home feeling lost and stressing about working without any computer knowledge at all. Now I feel I can and will be ok in my next step to finding a job or course that will help me better my life and my family.

There are stories behind every graduation

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