Technology trash becomes treasure
By Andy Glaser <[email protected]>
Sophomore Matthew May talks about Senior Connects
What is the name of this organization?
How did you get into refurbishing computers?
We started Senior Connects, which is an organization that helps senior citizens with their computers skills, and we ended up doing a lot of drives because we didn’t have many computers. So what we ended up doing was going to the Carmel (Public) Library and started getting computers, and then we started working to refurbish them.
Whom are these computers for?
They’re for senior citizens and also for kids.
Do you teach them how to use the computers?
We teach them basic skills on computers, we also teach them how to use the Internet.
What are these computers mainly used for?
Really whatever the seniors like. It’s mostly just for e-mail. That would be the big one for senior citizens.
What types of computers are refurbished?
Desktops. We’re big on PCs, Windows, Pentiums, those kinds of computers.
What is the process of refurbishing them?
A lot of them are older, so first we have to clean them. Then we have to go through and delete files. It’s a requirement that we delete everything that the person had on before. And then we go through and we have programs that we put on the computers that we set up. We try to make them user-friendly for senior citizens, with bigger icons, a bigger mouse, just anything so that they can see well.
How much does it cost per computer?
For us, since we’re a not-for-profit, we don’t have to worry about too much cost. They’re all donated, and we got 16 from the library not too long ago.
How long have you been doing this?
I’ve been doing it since the end of the school year last year.
What is your favorite part about this organization?
The best part is probably helping people in general because once they learn something, they remember it and they get better at it. When you see them happy, you feel a little better inside.
What is your least favorite part about this organization?
Because there’s a lot of movement, we’re not very organized. We go to three senior citizen homes and sometimes there are people who aren’t there, some who are there and it’s just pretty disorganized sometimes.
How many people are involved?
Three of us are there pretty much every single time, and then we usually have at least two other people there just some other people that are in this program. It’s usually about five or six at a time.
How can others get involved?
You can contact me, or we have a website, www.seniorconnects.org, or you can contact (Sophomore) Kyle Egbert. He’s another person that works for it.
How much time do you spend on this per week?
We go every Saturday. We used to go for about five hours then we cut it down to three.
Where does this refurbishing take place?
We originally started in the Forum at Keystone. We’re now working at Summer Trace behind Meijer, and we’re also working at Rose Walk, which is right next to Carmel Middle School.
Where do the computers come from?
They all come from donations.
What do you plan on studying in college?
Most people don’t know what this is, but I want to become an epidemiologist, which is probably one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet because what they do is they study diseases. With all these outbreaks, you have to go there and wear these big biohazard suits and stuff.
Do you plan on doing anything with computers as a career?
Epidemiology uses a lot with computers. I’m not going to go into an actually computer career, but I’m probably going to have to use them along with my job.
More about Matthew
Full name: Matthew Douglas May
Birthplace: Trenton, NJ
Date of birth: March 15, 1989
Mother’s name and profession: Marjorie May, consultant
Father’s name and profession: Ronald May, shipping consultant
Sibling’s name and age: no siblings
Favorite movie: “Jurassic Park”
Favorite color: green
Favorite food: popcorn
Favorite class: biology
Favorite holiday: Christmas
Favorite book: October Sky
Favorite sport: biking
Five things you would never know about Matthew May:
He was born on the Ides of March.
He has a cat named Slick.
He is a movie buff.
He used to live in New Jersey.
He has a swimming pool.