Marshall wasn’t doing anything before his Computers in Homes course. In his own words he “was in a very dark place” before doing the course. Marshall had actually started a university degree, but was unable to continue when there was a change in student loan policy.
Marshall is married with two young boys – 8 years old and 10 years old. He says his wife has really taken to social networking. She enjoys being able to socialize on-line without having to leave home to do so. Their two boys also appreciate having a computer in the home, especially one connected to the internet. Apparently they are both doing very well at school, because their ICT research skill is paying dividends. The whole family are also keen on doing puzzles on-line.
Since completing the Computers in Homes course Marshall has gone on to do some Stepping Up modules. He has also been an amazing volunteer for two Computers in Homes courses now. His artistic ICT skills have been nurtured too. At the time of his interview with me Marshall was able to proudly show me some of the image and animation work he has been doing. He has every right to be proud of this work – it is incredible – very detailed and professional. This is even more amazing when you know it has been produced on a very basic, refurbished computer. I was immediately left wondering what Marshall could produce with a quality computer with some real CPU speed, good RAM and a high quality graphics card.
Although Marshall was attracted to the Computers in Homes course by the free computer and the six months free broad band he says that it has led to so many more opportunities. He thinks the biggest thing has been the confidence building he has experienced from the courses and the volunteer work he has done. He was particularly motivated by “the energy that was created by the tutor and the programme manager (project manager)”. This ‘energy’ made Marshall believe he could do it, “get out of the hole”. Recently, in fact, Marshall has just completed a ‘Be your own boss’ course with WINZ and is now waiting for some start-up funding to begin trading in digital graphics.
Marshall believes that being part of Computers in Homes has taught him that Porirua is a beautiful place and that it is full of talented, creative people. He hopes he can grow his business to showcase this talent and creativity. “If it weren’t for this place (CIH Porirua) I wouldn’t have even looked at those angles (Porirua as beautiful with talented, creative people). I wouldn’t have looked at Porirua having the best and the greatest, not realizing that the best and the greatest are right here in Porirua”.
I would say “watch this space”. It is clear that Marshall is now motivated to make something wonderful happen here in Porirua. We will continue to follow his progress with the greatest of interest.