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Nonprofit Profile of BlueHair Technology Group

Nonprofit Profiles – From the Desk of:  BlueHair Technology Group

I conduct a series called ‘From the Desk of:  Atlanta Nonprofit Leaders’.  This endeavor is a series of interviews of Executive Directors, Head of Schools and CEOs of local nonprofit organizations.   My Nonprofit Profiles blog posts highlight the most outstanding feature of each leader and his/her organization.  Here are their stories…

 “Teaching a ‘senior’ dog new tricks”

Who:

Jane Ratliff, the Executive Director (ED) of BlueHair Technology Group.

What/Mission:

BlueHair Technology Group’s mission is: To educate adult seniors about current technology and the tools available to them to connect and communicate with family and friends.
By delivering hands-on workshops in the community where they live, seniors will have a fun, comfortable and convenient way to learn how to use technology, find information online, use email and stay alert and active.

Where:  www.bluehairtech.org

Winner:

Jane Ratliff is ‘Keeping Families Connected’.  Some of us (adult children) struggle to stay connected with our parents in this day and age of busy schedules, geographic distance between family members and increasing responsibilities.  Jane realized that technology was the key to overcoming these obstacles with her Mom.  Jane knew that if people in similar situations as her Mom (people from a different generation that are not familiar with technology) could become more comfortable using technology, that they could stay better connected.  This personal experience led Jane to create BlueHair Technology Group; a nonprofit organization that has found a way to make ‘learning a new trick’ inviting and FUN.

Why:

Jane Ratliff has found an innovative way to use innovation.  She is helping individuals who grew up in another generation, one without the common-place use of technology the way we have today, and introducing them to the benefits of today’s technology.  I think that Jane is a bit of a translator; she helps different generations speak the same language.  This, in and of itself, helps make connections.

People who sign up for the BlueHair Technology Group’s classes learn how to use ipads, applications, email, SKYPE and many other online resources.  Not only does this help them connect with loved ones, it helps them connect to their community and the greater world.  News, videos, music, pop culture, history and more are now literally at their fingertips.  And Jane makes it fun.  She uses games, such as history games, to have the student’s research for answers on their iPads.

BlueHair Technology Group allows the senior community to learn a new skill while gaining confidence in it (and themselves).  They provide connections in the class, with their loved ones and to their greater ‘worlds’.  They have taken a task that is sometimes difficult for adult children and brought dignity to it for everyone involved.  Jane and BlueHair Technology Group’s ability to create avenues that lead to connections makes them a Winner in my book!

To learn more about BlueHair Technology, please check them out at http://www.bluehairtech.org/.   

 

Photo credit to: Microsoft Office Clip Art

Jeanne Ward is a Consultant and Personal Strategist who brings her knowledge of psychology, strategy and personal fulfillment to her current work. Jeanne started her career by helping mentally ill inmates to ‘get their lives back on track’ as they integrated back into society from jail in NYC. She leveraged this experience with a Social Work degree to manage teams who were supporting people trying to move back into the workforce. She later lived in Atlanta, GA and Frankfurt, Germany where she began consulting with nonprofit organizations to guide them on their strategy, volunteer development, and organizational development as well as to support the development of their leaders and board of directors. After the jolt of a divorce, Jeanne found herself doing a lot of soul-searching. Digging deep, she arrived at a new-found appreciation for herself and the world around her. This journey taught her that when we start with improving ourselves, the benefits multiply. Jeanne realized that her strengths of strategic thinking, relationship building, and implementation planning could be combined into her ongoing passion of personal leadership. Hence, her personal strategy work was born. Jeanne helps men and women between the ages of 35 and 55 who are fed up with their corporate jobs to create fulfilling professional and personal lives through the development of a personal strategic plan. This work ensures that her clients identify their professional and personal goals as well as create a plan to make those goals a reality. Jeanne is also the Executive Director of the Atlanta Road Trotters Kid’s Running Club, a nonprofit organization that provides a platform for children to build a foundation of running health and fitness which leads to a better connection to the organized running community as well as a strong foundation of Discipline, Self-Esteem, Respect and Team Work. She has also co-authored a workbook on networking, founded and organized the National Association of Social Workers-Georgia-sponsored ‘Social Service Career Network’ and organized a summit for the National Alliance for Mentally Ill attended by over 100 organizations from 6 Atlanta counties. Previously, she sat on the board of NASW GA as their Secretary as well as on the board of NAMI GA/DeKalb as their Co-President, was a senior consultant for the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and helped to run a capital campaign for an independent school. Jeanne has an MSW from Hunter School of Social Work (City University of New York), an MA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (City University of New York) and a BA in Psychology from Emory University. Jeanne lives in Atlanta with her ten-year-old son.

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