Voices From The Lab: Moving Forward

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Photo of Royce Hall

Royce Hall

Two years ago Austin Free-Net helped Royce Hall improve his basic computer skills and find his dream job.  When the dream took an unexpected turn, he decided to come back to the organization that provided the technical and emotional support he needed to move forward.

Unemployed for six months in 2011, Royce visited the AFN Computer Lab at the Rosewood Zaragosa Neighborhood Center with the hope of updating his resume and finding a job on the Internet.  He had a lot of work experience, but he needed help translating his work skills into resume skills.  The one-one-one help Royce received at AFN helped him to keep motivated and inspired him to consider different job opportunities.

 “Everyone at AFN is friendly.  They take the time and don’t make you feel uncomfortable about your situation or lack of computer skills,” said Royce.

After talking with the AFN staff at Rosewood Zaragosa and doing online research, Royce decided to pursue his dream job.  He wanted to become a bus driver for Capitol Metro.  His weekly visits to Rosewood’s free computer lab allowed him to construct an action plan and find the information he needed to earn a commercial driver’s license .  Immediately after obtaining his license, a refrigerated trucking company, offered Royce a position.  After driving professionally for a year, he achieved his dream and became a Capitol Metro  bus driver in late 2012.

Photo of a red truck on the highwayEverything was going well for Royce until an on-the-job injury put him on medical leave from work.  “Being injured got me thinking again about pursuing other career opportunities, possibly with the City of Austin or using my skills to start a business in the future,” said Royce.  This is what brought Royce back to AFN and The DeWitty Center. 

“I knew there was a City of Austin employment center at the DeWitty , and I wanted to use Austin Free-Net’s computer lab. “

Returning to the DeWitty Center, Royce immediately noticed how much Austin Free-Net has grown as an organization.  “There are more computers, more volunteers and best of all—no waiting to use a computer in the lab,” remarked Royce.  He is confident that with Austin Free-Net’s support and resources he will find his next opportunity.

Royce is one of the many people who return to AFN for additional computer training and job search assistance.  Our free computer labs exist because of individual donations, grants and local partnerships. For more information on supporting Austin Free-Net as a donor or volunteer, contact us at 512-236-8225.

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