BHSU ENACTUS Team hosts ‘Tech for Retirees’ Classes
ENACTUS is a team of students at Black Hills State University who set out to create and implement community empowerment projects in the Black Hills region.
One highly successful community-based project for the ENACTUS Team is ‘Tech for Retirees’, which teaches the retired community about new and ever-changing technology.
ENACTUS Team members began their outreach with groups of seniors on campus and now have moved to one on one zoom sessions due to the pandemic.
Their approach can help seniors with anything from using different platforms to uploading pictures to mobile devices.
Juliana Nielsen, BHSU ENACTUS President, says, “We give a little bit of a presentation, nothing too extensive, and then we just kinda work one on one with things that they are struggling with or have questions about, and so it kinda evolved from it starting with Facebook but then we realized that most people know how to use Facebook by now, and so they were like, we have some other questions about our computers, and so we start with security and other details and now we are evolving to zoom because that is kind of where the world is going.”
The experience helps students develop an entrepreneurial mindset through leadership skills – helping those who are at a disadvantage.
Courtney Nagle, BHSU ENACTUS Member, says, “Our main target is helping the retirees or the older generation to learn how to use zoom since our world is now transitioning to online, and I think it’s a great way to help them get connected because I feel like they could possibly get disconnected.”
Many class recipients find the outreach very helpful. James Hesson has taken a number of the classes offering technology assistance.
James Hesson, Retired BHSU Professor, says, “It’s [technology] evolving so quickly, that it’s the university students, they are together and they are living it, so all you have to do is ask a friend or take a class but if you are isolated from that, you don’t have that resource.”
It’s also a great opportunity for conversations and connections between the students and retirees.
Barbara Looney, BHSU ENACTUS Advisor, says, “Our students are so patient and really want to be helpful so it’s a wonderful interface between generations and our older citizens really appreciate the help.”
The BHSU ENACTUS team also participates in the international competition at the end of the year.