Marge Pollock

Burbank Adult School

Marge Pollock said that she learned to recognize the joy of helping people from her mother. Being one of eight children, this was something they all had to do.

After Marge finished high school she wanted to become a nurse. However, she knew her dad still had five children to educate and for him to cover the cost of her becoming a nurse would be too costly. So Marge applied for and was accepted in the Cadet Nurse Corps, a governmental program that paid the cost of individuals to receive training to become nurses. Following graduation from this program, she enlisted in the Army Nurse Corp and served during the Korean conflict. After Marge's term of service in the Army Nurse Corps was complete, she settled in Burbank, California where she and her husband, Charlie, met and were married. She continued to work in her chosen field of nursing helping others for the next 36 years. Computers, as we know them today, were not in use at that time.

After retirement, Marge found she had too much time on her hands. She became aware of the many things that the City of Burbank was doing to help seniors and she wanted to help. Marge decided to become a volunteer in her chosen field of nursing and joined the volunteer program at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. She requested a clerical position and was offered an assignment that included working in the volunteer office and also teaching the new volunteers to work in the emergency room.

Teaching volunteers to work in the emergency room was no problem for Marge. She had all of the needed skills for that. However, working in the Volunteer Office revealed a big problem: the new volunteer position entailed using a computer, and she had no computer knowledge or expertise. In fact, she did not even know how to turn on a computer.

Now with her problem identified and realizing that she wanted to be of greater service in her assignment, Marge decided to go back to school and learn how to use this new and “frightening machinery”. She tried two or three places to begin her computer education, however, she encountered some challenges with their approach to teaching absolute beginners. So, Marge called the Burbank Adult School and explained her problem. The staff at the school suggested that she begin by enrolling in the school's Senior Citizen/Beginner computer class.

Marge not only learned to turn on the computer and use the mouse, but she also learned the basics of word processing among many other things. As she continued in her work as a volunteer at the hospital, she began to use what she had learned in class to help her in revising manuals, sending out letters, starting new record, and many other computer related activities.

Having now "tasted" the fun it was to use what she had learned, Marge enrolled in a second semester in the senior computer class. Then she moved on and enrolled in the Adult School's computer lab where she learned Excel and how to type.

As Marge took what she learned in her computer classes to her volunteer job at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, she was surprised that she could now even teach the manager, who is the only paid employee in the volunteer office, many things about the computer. One thing the manager had been trying to learn for quite some time was “mail merge”. When Marge learned this, she was proud to tell the manager that she had just learned mail merge in class and would be glad to teach her, which she did. It was greatly satisfying to Marge to be able to not only do some actual work using her newly developed skills and knowledge, but to teach her manager. In fact Marge’s knowledge and skill has been a great asset as the Volunteer Department had significant mailings to do. It has not only saved many hours, but many dollars as well.

As Marge continued her computer classes, she found that almost every month she was able to share the things she learned in class with her co-workers in the Volunteer Department. Marge is a very highly self-motivated person and continues to work on increasing her computer skills both at the Burbank Adult School and at home. She attributes her success in using her newly developed computer skills in her volunteer position to what she learned in the computer classes at the Adult School.

Marge is currently enrolled in the computer lab at Burbank Adult School and plans to continue in order to further enhance her ability to serve others. She continues serving as a volunteer at the Hospital using her computer skills. Currently, she is assisting in implementing a computerized Volunteer Works program at the hospital.

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