At Mineola High School, the Student Service Center provides many opportunities for students to volunteer in different programs that they are interested in. These volunteer opportunities don’t only serve the community and the world around us, but these opportunities serve students who gather wisdom, valuable experiences and the power to make a difference.
A particular volunteer program, known as Computeers, holds fall, winter and spring sessions every Wednesday, led by Mineola High School teachers Eileen Burke and Claudia Rudnet from 2:20 to 3:30 p.m. This wonderful program allows two different generations to connect with one another.
Computeers is a volunteer program in which students at Mineola High School help senior citizens with technology. The use of iPads, 3D equipment and the brand new tech room has greatly impacted the school, making it a friendly, engaging environment for students. These days, students know more about technology than ever before, making them experts in that area. Mineola High School recognizes that students have more knowledge when it comes to technology, which is why Computeers was created, so that students learn leadership, communication and patience as they try to teach senior citizens how to use electronic devices of their choice.
Senior citizens ask basic, simple questions, but those easy questions aren’t as easy for them to answer as they are for students, which is why this wonderful program allows different generations to connect and help each other out. Ankita Patel, a student at Mineola High School, said, “Computeers allows me to talk to new people and see things from their perspective. Seeing people struggle isn’t fun to watch and that’s why I chose to do Computeers. I want to give back to my community and help people overcome their obstacles.”
Computeers is about helping senior citizens, but this volunteer program helps students too. After all, helping people helps you. Being a part of Computeers is really an eye-opening volunteer program. The senior citizens are friendly and kind and not a bit shy. They tell you about their personal life and the wisdom they have gathered throughout the years.
Edward Proctor, a senior citizen, said, “My daughter told me about this program at Mineola and I just really wanted to learn and each day I’m learning something new. The students here are excellent and that is why I keep coming back. Their energy gets me excited to learn and to keep learning.”
Learning doesn’t stop at a certain age. Learning is part of life, no matter how old you are—you just have to be willing. Mineola High School student Danny Pires said, “I want to major in computer science so I figured it would be interesting to see what questions people have. I have a finesse for technology and I just wanted to help people with what I have.”
Many senior citizens come here for different reasons, but one thing they all have in common is that they want expertise with handling technology. Rita Lee said, “When I was in Hong Kong, I liked to use my computer and look at financial news, but that was a long time ago and now I have retired. Time is moving fast and everything is being updated. I want to learn how to use this modern day technology.”
Being a part of Computeers is not an easy job. Students have to be very patient with the senior citizens, who might not hear you so you have to repeat something several times or don’t remember from the last session and have to be shown again, but in the end it all comes down to doing good deeds and helping each other.
-Ziya Patel is a student at Mineola High School