Carmel seniors assist seniors, get scholarships
Submitted by Tony Willis
Posted: May 27, 2008
Computers, cell phones, and other technology have shortened the distance between family and friends. From sending an email, creating a photo album online, or sending instant messages; these simple tasks are taken for granted by today’s youth. But, to most senior citizens these words are another language. If seniors were introduced to these technologies, they would have the means to communicate with their children, view photos of grandchildren, and shop online for gifts; all with just the click of a mouse.
PNY Technologies, Inc., a leading manufacturer and supplier of computer products, put teens to the test to bridge this technological gap with the first annual Seniors Helping Seniors competition. The scholarship program invited all high school seniors in the graduating class of 2008 to design and perform a project that would enhance the lives and meet the needs of seniors within their community with PNY technology.
From the many hundred applicants, PNY Technologies chose Sachin Santhakumar, Yunpeng Yang, and William Zhang from Carmel High School as the grand prize winning team for their project; “Senior Connects.”
For their outstanding service and accomplishments, each student was awarded a $2,500 college scholarship. PNY also donated three computers and monitors to the high school. The computers are being used in the classroom of Margaret Winans, a business teacher at Carmel High School, to aid in supporting the “Seniors Connects” program, in which Ms. Winans is the sponsor.
“Senior Connects” is a computer education program run by highly motivated students for the senior citizen community of Indiana. Through the program, senior citizens are taught basic computer, internet and email skills in local senior citizen facilities; providing a more convenient way to learn for the residents. The three students’ knowledge of computers and passion for providing assistance to those in need, were the building blocks for starting their own chapter of the organization at their school. The Carmel branch of “Senior Connects,” not only educated the seniors about the vast internet, but also on the different storage options; such as PNY’s SD Flash cards and USB Flash drives used to save, store, and share information. One on one lessons between students and seniors, who were once unconnected provided the seniors with the knowledge to use modern technology in order to connect with family and friends.
The computers donated by PNY are providing the students with additional workstations to download software and drivers, in order to re-purpose older computers which are donated to the local assisted living center where the students held their computer education sessions for the seniors. The systems are also being used for the students to finish a PowerPoint presentation on Safe Internet Use. The presentation will be recorded and presented to the Department of Education and Congressional staffers in Washington DC this summer for discussion on the national distribution of the presentation in order to educate the nation on safe usage of the internet.
“We are pleased to announce the winning team and their project called Senior Connects,” said Margaret Salleroli, Marketing Communications Manager, for PNY Technologies. “Senior citizens in their community now have the knowledge and ability to keep in touch with family through the use of technology while each student earned scholarship money to further their education and continue giving back to their community. Seniors Helping Seniors was a gratifying experience for everyone and PNY Technologies looks forward to more rewarding results in the future through our commitment to this program.”
The 2008 scholarship program will be Go Green with PNY. For more information on this program please contact Susan Bartolucci at (973) 560-5592 or via email at [email protected].
Established in 1985, PNY Technologies Inc. is a leading manufacturer and supplier of memory upgrade modules, high capacity flash memory cards, USB flash drives, portable hard drives as well as consumer and professional workstation graphics cards. The company’s photography, mobility, 3D gaming and business solutions are widely available from major retail, e-tail and wholesale outlets internationally. Headquartered in Parsippany, N.J., PNY maintains facilities in North America (Santa Clara and Orange County, Calif., Miami, Fla. and Parsippany, N.J.), Europe (Benelux, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, United Kingdom,) Asia (Taiwan and China) and Latin America. For more information, please visit: www.pny.com.
Tony Willis is an English teacher at Carmel High School. Contact Willis at [email protected] and (317) 844-9961, ext. 7117.