Tim and Melanie Whetzel
Located in the old schoolhouse, the Upper Tract Volunteer Department computer center’s two mentors, Tim and Melanie Whetzel, make learning new computer skills a cinch.
Tim, a lifelong resident of Upper Tract, and Melanie, originally from Petersburg, began volunteering at the fire department a little over 20 years ago, when Tim joined the fire department. Melanie joined the fire department auxiliary and briefly the Upper Tract Rescue Squad.
Melanie also led a Brownies Girl Scout troop for four years. She then took a break from volunteering to home school their son, Jamey. When he went into public school though, she decided to become a computer center mentor.
“We think the computer center opens a new world to people who have no other means of access to it.” Melanie stated. “I think it is opening doors for both young and old to learn how to use a computer and get the basic skills needed.”
The Whetzels enjoy teaching the computer classes and offered special classes throughout the past summer. They also have a group home class that comes to the center every week. The Whetzels love trying new things in the lab and love seeing patrons enjoy using the computer and Internet to do what they might not otherwise get to do.
“I think our best memories are anytime someone has been helped by us,” Melanie admitted. “Whether it be in the fire department, rescue squad, a girl I had in scouts, or someone who recently came in to the lab to learn from us.”