Benefiting from Compumentor

I worked as Operations Manager for Low-Income Families' Empowerment through Education (LIFETIME) for two and a half years.  LIFETIME is a constiuent run organization that helps low-income families pursue their higher education and training goals and graduate out of poverty. 

I was fortunate to be able to speak at Compumentor's staff meeting http://www.compumentor.org a couple of months ago and share about my experience as an Accidental Techie using their services. Below is my personal experience with Compumentor and their services.

1) Compumentor Tech Support:
I signed up for Compumentor's tech support to have a consultant come in for 4 hours per month.  I was so happy to get assistance to improve our Windows 98 machines.  My consultant gave me suggestions for implementing a back up system, upgrading our server, upgrading our machines, I think he even told me about purchasing software on Tech Soup.  He really listened to my organizations tech problems and provided helpful suggestions and solutions.

2) TechSoup http://www.techsoup.org
By purchasing software through TechSoup.  After I had a Compumentor tech consultant, I really wanted to implement a technology plan, I downloaded all the tech planning information I could off of the Tech Soup website, however got so busy that I pushed off writing the technology plan.  In the mean time I upgraded half of the computers in the office from Windows 98 to Windows 2000 (all from products purchased on Tech Soup Stock) and got a new server for the office.  Then I implemented a comprehensive database for the organization. I trained the staff and interns on the upgraded machines and new database. 

3) Healthy and Secure Computing program. 
I went into that program with one goal in mind to complete my technology plan so I could get technology funding for new computers at LIFETIME.  I was so happy to get planning and implementation support through the Healthy and Secure Computing program and complete my technology plan!  Then to receive implementation pass through funding to actually check off items on my technology plan was awesome!  I was able to implement a training program for the staff and interns.  Through the pass through funding, I was able to implement a router which allowed the staff and interns wireless capability in the office. Also I was able to purchase Microsoft E-Learning Library CD's, and conduct Microsoft office specific trainings for the staff and interns to improve their overall computer skills.

4) Mentor Matching Program
I learned about the Mentor matching program through the Healthy and Secure Computing program. I signed up for a Mentor to help me complete my Windows 1998 to Windows 2000 computer upgrade.  My mentor-Hilary Naylor also helped me to install Spyware software on all the machines, set up guest log-ins of the computers that low-income parent leader volunteers used in the office. She also helped me set up monthly maintenance checks for all the Machines.  We had a problem with updating one of the machines so she introduced me to the Tech Soup discussion lists, I then posted my problem to one of the lists and someone who responded helped me fix my problem.