What started off as a way to accumulate volunteer hours turned into much more when Clearwater Secondary students (CSS) applied for a Youth Initiative Grant through United Way for an initiative called ‘Cyber Seniors’
“For me it started off as a way to get volunteer hours, but it turned into a project I really enjoyed. I hope that more youth in our community will keep going with things like this, building connections with seniors in our community because it’s a lot of fun,” says CSS student, Hanna Wadlegger.
Intergenerational programs like Cyber Seniors offer an opportunity to bridge the generation gap and offer numerous benefits for both young and old.
While the initiative was originally intended to educate seniors on IT and social media, some of the most powerful outcomes have been the care, the connections, and the relationships that develop.
“The seniors at first were shy and uncomfortable as they thought the students would think they were “stupid”, but they quickly found that the students were more than willing to help them with sometimes very simple questions to more challenging ones.
The comfort level for all came when one senior had a question and the youth said, ‘I have no idea! Let’s look it up!’ Everyone learned the importance of Google that day!” says Lynn Frizzle, Seniors Network Coordinator.
United Way inspires people from all walks of life to come together to raise funds, volunteer and stimulate policy and attitude changes that lead to lasting change in our entire region. We work to make our communities the best they can be by focusing resources on creating pathways out of poverty, supporting children and youth and strong communities.