Older adult participants from the “Connected NYCHA” program recently celebrated their academic accomplishments in a virtual graduation ceremony! The Connected NYCHA initiative was launched in 2020 by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (MOCTO) and the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA). Older NYCHA residents were provided internet-connected tablets and technology training through Older Adults Technology (OATS) from AARP’s Senior Planet program.
In the “Android Essentials” course, participants learned various digital functions such as email basics, safe internet search, and all about popular apps such as Photos and Zoom. Many participants grew from newbie to proficient status with freshly-earned confidence. Participant Ruth David said, “I had absolutely no knowledge about how these devices worked, but since joining the classes I feel like a pro navigating. I can stay in contact with my family and friends more than I did in the past, and I now conduct an online game night once a month for my family and friends.”
Senior Planet hosts a variety of other online classes and events for NYCHA residents, in which many residents enroll. OATS recognized over 140 “Connected NYCHA” program participants for their hard work and participation with a virtual commencement earlier this year.
After completing the course, participant Maria Gomez earned technical skills, confidence, and a sense of empowerment. “I’m very thankful for what I’ve already learned, and already registered for more classes. Growing up I only got to a fourth-grade education, so seeing how much I’ve advanced now makes me look forward to these classes and look forward to learning period. I emailed my two daughters what I did in the Canva class and they both said, ‘Whoa, you know more about technology than we do.’ These classes have given me life,” said Gomez.
Photo from the NYCHA Journal