Brian O’Keeffe with graduating students from the IIIC’s computer class.

By Katie Burke

Brian O’Keeffe moved to Boston in 1997 during the early days of the internet boom and began a career in computers shortly thereafter. Recently, he has been offering his expertise to the IIIC community by leading four-week computer courses.

As volunteer instructor, his goal is to aid his students in becoming more confident in using computers and to increase their skill set in some useful areas. With his grandmother hailing from Galway and his father’s side of the family from Cork, Brian and his parents have always been very proud of their Irish roots.

Brian has visited Ireland many times and has seen it change dramatically from the employment challenges in the 1980s through the “Celtic Tiger” years.

Brian began volunteering with the IIIC through his friend, Danielle Owen, Director of Wellness and Education Services. Danielle shared with Brian the pressing need to teach computer skills courses to Home Health Aide and CPR students.

“The words had barely left my lips when Brian immediately said ‘What about me?’” Danielle recalls. “Brian had his basic curriculum mapped out on a napkin in minutes! He has worked for Power Steering Software in Cambridge for the past five years, and is an expert in technology.”

Brian has tailored the course to the specific needs of the participants as determined by the assessment process conducted when participants register for class. This ensures classes are relevant to participants’ actual employment needs.

Topics include: making and saving files, using a search engine, and becoming proficient with Microsoft Office programs such as Excel and Word. The objective is that participants will be able to create a resume, apply for jobs, respond to queries and network with others all online.

“In today’s workforce, these skills are a must,” Brian says. “It’s very empowering when you feel your own confidence grow, which then impacts your ability to be successful in the job market.”

When asked about his class, Brian says, “It has been really fun to watch people become comfortable using a computer, seeing their confidence increase from week to week.”

This has no doubt been made easier by Brian’s supportive teaching methods, tailored curriculum and overall enthusiasm to support the Irish community by offering these courses.

We are very grateful to have him as part of our volunteer team!

For more information or registration for future computer classes please contact Kielan O’Boyle at koboyle@iiicenter.org 617 542-7654 ext. 42.