OGDEN -- Cheryl Garrett said she was ready for a switch from her old job.
But the new opportunity she found, starting in July, was working as an administrative assistant at Konecny Brothers Lumber -- a position she said was a little above her skill set.
So when officials at the company allowed her to start working on a trial basis, she scrambled to find help.
And she found that help at Cottages of Hope, an Ogden nonprofit organization with the goal of creating paths to prosperity.
"My supervisor was very supportive of me coming here to find help," she said. "He doesn't have time to teach me this. That's why he needs an assistant."
Even though Cottages of Hope wasn't officially starting its Computers 101 course until Aug. 12, Garrett said co-directors Chris Swaner and Jeremy Botelho agreed to start tutoring her one-on-one for a month until the class did start.
"I said I need to learn this now," she said. "Waiting for the class to start wasn't going to work."
Since that time, dozens of area residents have been helped to learn the computer at Cottages of Hope.
They have learned anything they personally needed to know, from the basics of operating a mouse to complicated spread-sheet programs.
Computers 101 is a self-paced one-on-one computer tutoring program where participants pick the area in which they want to learn.
Topics include basics of using a computer, creating, saving and organizing files, navigating and searching the Internet, communicating using email, using MS Word to create documents, and other topics as needed.
The class is offered free to anyone wishing to participate from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Cottages of Hope.
Free computer practice is offered in the lab from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
The teaching program is co-sponsored by Cottages of Hope and CenturyLink, which funded the program with $1,700 in start-up fees in exchange for Cottages of Hope promoting its CenturyLink Internet Basics program that offers home Internet service for $9.95 a month for low-income residents.
"We feel like every child, every person should have access to Internet services for seeking jobs or seeking education," said Jackie Lalor, a public relations representative for the company in the state of Utah.
"CenturyLink is dedicated to enhancing the communities we serve in meaningful ways. We provide financial, technological and volunteer resources to support our communities, because they're not just a place where we do business -- they're also our homes."
Lalor said she believes the Computers 101 program is successful.
"This is a very good, active learning opportunity, which provides tools for success in their lives," she said. "This is life-changing for many."
Swaner said the Computers 101 program specializes in helping people learn how to use the computer to find work.
He said included in the instruction is how to create a resume, how to search for a job and help in gaining skills to get a job.
Farzaneh Reyhani is a student in the Computers 101 class who has learned to send emails and to create and design documents in Word Perfect in the last two weeks.
She is currently unemployed, but she believes the skills she has learned will lead to employment.
"I've been to computer class before, but I didn't learn anything," she said. "I'll be so excited to get a job."
Gloria Palacios Dudlos said she has a fractured leg, but coming to the class gives her a chance to get out of the house and to socialize and learn.
"Every time I come here to this place, these people are very sweet and kind," Dudlos said.
"You have to study. You have to do something."
For information about this program, visit Cottages of Hope, at 2724 Washington Blvd. (behind a former bank building at 2722 Washington Blvd.), call 801-393-4011 or email email@example.com.
Contact reporter JaNae Francis at 801-625-4228 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on twitter at @jfrancis.