“Google is the Gateway”: Terry’s Grow with Google Experience

“Google is the Gateway”: Terry’s Grow with Google Experience


Before he started The Fortune Society’s Grow with Google Career Readiness for Reentry program this fall, Terry estimates he understood about three percent of the things you could do with technology. He knew how to create an email account and how to email a potential employer, but he always forgot his password.  

“Google is good because you can start a new [email],” Terry said. “And it had this little feature which can help you create a password. Little things like that.”  

Terry is a new graduate of the Grow with Google course. He believes the skills he’s learned in class have opened the world up to him. He gives an example – if he invented something he now knows how to search for ways to secure a patent.  

“I can always explore my mind and then Google can tell me if it exists or not. And if not—then I’m like, ‘Hello, Google,’” Terry said.  

Grow with Google is a partnership between Google and five reentry organizations including Fortune. Its goal is to provide free digital literacy training to people with a history of justice involvement. This year, Grow with Google will train more than 10,000 people in fundamental digital skills. The course is also coupled with job placement support so graduating participants can access quality jobs in their preferred fields. 

Terry insists that everyone can learn – no matter what level you start at or how long you’ve been separated from technology. 

“Some of us have been cut off from it - not been introduced to it for one reason or another. But once you get introduced to it, see how it looks, it opens up your whole world.”

Terry speaks about the way Google can anticipate what he wants to do—in the search engine, in the email accounts, and even in his resume. 

“You can even put a partial word, Google can improvise the rest of it…so it saves time, even putting in the information,” he said. “You should never be able to make a wrong email or a resume that isn’t good enough. Google helps you to improve.” 

For all that he’s learned in class, his favorite part is how his new skills allow him to better explore the world around him. Google may be a tool that will open up work possibilities for him in the future, but it’s also a way to connect to the things he’s passionate about.

“As a human being, I like music. I like food. And it seems like, whatever category, Google gets me there,” he explained. “And it seems like I’ve got the whole world at my fingertips from Google. Google is the gateway.”

To learn more about Fortune’s Grow with Google Career Readiness for Reentry program, click here. 

In partnership with Google and the Grow with Google Career Readiness for Reentry program, The Fortune Society will publish a series of stories and social media posts about ways we are addressing the growing digital divide and its impact on the justice-involved population.

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