Len McClure, Goodwill San Antonio Digital Literacy student

Starting a new chapter, Len’s Digital Journey at Goodwill SA

In the quiet corner of a computer lab at the Goodwill Good Careers Center located on Fredericksburg Road, you’ll find Len McClure- a seasoned explorer and lifelong learner.  

For decades, Len roamed the lush landscapes of Asia, capturing the scenes and cultures for National Geographic. Now in the golden years of his life, he has embarked on a different adventure, one that led him to a free digital literacy course at Goodwill San Antonio. 

Born in Tennessee, Len’s life is full of interesting stories. In 1975 he graduated with a degree in Radio, Television, and Film from the University of Texas, and shortly after began his career as a documentary cinematographer in Asia. His work portfolio includes the 2001 film Precious Cargo, where he was the director of photography and associate producer.  

Broadcasted in 2001, the film followed adoptees from Operation Baby Lift, a term given to the mass evacuation of Vietnam children to America in 1975. The hour-long film aired on PBS stations across the U.S. and was distributed by National Geographic International. The film would go on to win a slew of film festival awards. 

After retiring from the industry, Len settled in Texas and found himself at the register of the Goodwill store. “Would you like to round up your total today, to support programs like Digital Literacy,” said the cashier, who Len recalls was the first person to introduce him to the free digital literacy program at Goodwill San Antonio. “After buying some shirts I went straight to the Career Center to sign up for the computer course myself,” said Len. 

For Len, who spent his life with a camera in hand witnessing the world through a viewfinder, he faced a new challenge- navigating today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.  

The decision to enroll in a digital literacy course became Len’s bridge to the future, a gateway to understanding the language of the modern age. With his instructor Eva Gonzalez by his side, he embraced the challenges of technology and turned it into an opportunity for growth. 

“Everyone comes in at varying computer levels, “said Eva. The youngest student I’ve had was 17, and the oldest student I’ve ever had was 86. But the beauty about our course is that we always encourage them to keep moving forward- we have a friendly environment, we work at their pace- and when you see them have their ‘a-ha' moment, that's what brings me joy.” 

During the three-month course, Len learned everything from basic computer skills like how to use Microsoft Word, and social media, to more current trends like how to insert emojis in the chat box of a Zoom call. After taking the full program, he graduated alongside his classmates- a diverse group of students of varying ages.  

For Len, who turns 78 in a few days, his experience at Goodwill is more than a journey- it’s a testament to the transformative power of education. As he embraces his new skills, he serves as an inspiration to others that regardless of age and where you’ve been, everyone can try something new, and embrace the ever-evolving landscape technology.  

If you are interested in learning more about the free training programs offered at Goodwill San Antonio, call 210-924-8581 or visit our website at https://www.goodwillsa.org/digital-literacy.  

By Yvonne Zamora Byrd, ybyrd@goodwillsa.org

Len McClure, Goodwill San Antonio Digital Literacy Student. Male, glasses, blue jacket in front of computer
Student and teacher, Goodwill San Antonio Digital Literacy program


Smiles of Goodwill