Carmel Teen Recognized for Efforts to Teach Seniors Online Skills
Sep 19, 2005, 08:19 PM EST
By Joy Dumandan
24-Hour News 8
This week, the Children’s Museum is honoring four Indiana teenagers for their volunteer efforts.
Daniel Kent is a Carmel teen who took put his savings toward helping senior citizens get connected. He turned his tech savvy into an aid for a different generation.
“I started Senior Connects which is an organization that promotes senior citizen computer literacy,”Daniel said.
He put $4,000 of his own money toward his not-for-profit. “I saved up a little money for my car and I really felt that it was important for senior connects to obtain our 501(c)(3). So I put it toward different legal fees and obtaining the incorporation status.”
By obtaining a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit status, Daniel was able to fundraise for Senior Connects.
Dr. Judith Erickson, a retired research director at the Indiana Youth Institute, met Daniel through a friend and became interested in his vision. “I’ve been trying to help him learn how to write grants, to write proposals,” said Dr. Erickson.
Daniel’s efforts are paying off. Senior Connects has set up computer labs in more than 70 retirement homes in the area. Volunteers come in and teach basic computers skills all the way up to email and the internet.
“I’ve learned that he is persistent, that he is creative and that he has more ideas than 10,000 people could put together,” said Erickson.
His parents’ home has become Daniel’s office. At one point, a computer drive which networked more than 100 computers took over the family room.
“When you see them online emailing their grandchildren, receiving photographs back and forth, it’s hard to describe but it’s a really great feeling,” said Daniel.
Senior Connects is catching on. A former Hoosier started the effort in San Jose, California. Inquiries on lesson plans have come from as far away as Canada.
24-Hour News 8 will profile the other winners throughout this week. On Saturday, they’ll receive their $2,000 awards at the Children’s Museum.