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December 17, 2013 > Teenagers turn seniors into techies

Teenagers turn seniors into techies

Submitted By Sunil S. Dhawan

A teenage-run non-profit group, SOS (Service Over Self), has been working at multiple senior residential facilities over the last two years teaching computer skills to the senior residents. This project started in early 2012 with the first classes held at Emeritus/Merrill Gardens senior residential facility in Fremont. Since then, the group has held classes in multiple cities, such as Palo Alto, San Ramon, and Oakland.

ÒWe felt that there was a need for seniors to learn how to use modern devices,Ó said Akash S. Dhawan, founder of SOS. ÒMany residents receive gifts, such as iPhones, iPads, Kindles, and laptops from their relatives, but they have no idea how to use these devices. Many of the residents just want to be able to email their sons and daughters to stay in touch, look at digital photos, go to websites of interest, and enjoy the benefits of our technologically advanced time.Ó

The members of the organization go to these facilities on a weekly basis. Since its conception in late 2011, the volunteers of SOS have made great progress with the residents at each facility. The residents express much gratitude towards the members for taking time out of their busy schedules to teach valuable computer skills. The members of SOS are actively looking for new volunteers and accept inquiries about setting up classes at other senior centers/facilities, or non-profits that would welcome these services.

ÒWe benefit from the interaction with the seniors, and get a great sense of pride by helping them,Ó said Anish Mokha, head of information systems for SOS.

For more information on Service Over Self, visit


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