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