Project Generation Connection

Alessandra Smith has started Project Generation Connection.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A local high school senior and Girl Scout wants to make a difference by putting technology into the hands of senior citizens in the community.

It’s called Project Generation Connection and Alessandra Smith is looking for people to donate iPads to assisted living facilities so they can use the technology to stay in touch with family and friends.

“What I’m trying to do is I’m trying to connect the elderly to the youth in the community and their family,” said Smith.

Smith also wants to provide tech-friendly volunteers.

“I am looking for the young generation because I want to show them the elderly, they’re not scary. They’re quite nice people actually,” she said.

Smith said she came up with the idea after struggling to communicate with her great-grandmother in Vermont, who had the technology but couldn’t figure out how to use it. Smith said no one who worked at the facility could help her either.

“That’s when I realized that it’s probably a problem for a lot of elderly. Maybe they have the devices, but nobody around them knows how to use it or most of them don’t even have the devices. So I wanted to provide those tools so that those connections can be made,” Smith said.

“Everyone needs a bit of interaction every day, whether it be via the internet and or face-to-face, and by doing this I can ensure that these elderly are going to get that human interaction.”

Smith admits that balancing classes and extra curricular activities while taking on a project like this is a challenge, but she also believes she has an advantage.

“People are more likely to listen if you tell them, ‘hey, I’m a high school student and I want to make a difference.’ They’ll kind of open their ears more and think ‘a teenager wants to do something positive? Ok, I’ll give it a chance.'”

Smith is currently working with two facilities in Colorado Springs, Sunrise Senior Living and Brookdale Senior Living. Smith said she hopes to see the project grow to more locations throughout Colorado Springs and eventually to facilities across the nation.

To donate, volunteer or to learn more visit projectgenerationconnection.wordpress.com or email Smith at artistwonders@gmail.com

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