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Skype Hero: College Student Brings Skype into Nursing Home

Sometimes we come across really heartwarming stories which inspire us and highlight the many ways people are doing something really good or helping others using Skype. Today, I want to share with you the story of Ivan Quinones, a college student of San Jacinto College in Texas, who decided to bring Skype into a local nursing home as part of his fraternity’s ‘Honors in Action’ project. We came across Ivan’s story online at Your Houston News.

Ivan’s story reminds us of the importance of helping the needy, particularly the elderly. Elderly in nursing homes are often a forgotten group of people, who are lonely and ‘disconnected.’ We’re proud when we hear the difference a Skype call can make. For 61 year old, Phyllis Lewis at the Park Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, it makes a difference. Ivan showed Phyllis how to video call using Skype, and now she is able to see her sister in California, and send messages with photos to her.

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“One thing that really resonated with me when we were introduced to this year’s Honors in Action project was that a great project doesn’t have to impact the masses,” said Quinones. “If you can make an impact on even one person’s life, it’s totally worth the effort you put in. Seeing Ms. Lewis’ and other residents’ faces light up when they saw how Skype works was a joy to witness because you can actually see the difference you’re making by introducing them to technology they probably wouldn’t have thought to be shown. Residents like Mrs. Lewis who are familiar with computers can also act as teachers, creating peer-to-peer learning. I definitely think we can make a difference here and hopefully help others in the community start other programs like these.”

We want to give Ivan Quinones and the Honors in Action project a big thumbs up from Skype. Ivan and fellow students at San Jacinto College (SJC) South Campus Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) National Honor Society Alpha Gamma Zeta chapter are off to a great start closing the technology gap for seniors, who could very well be grandparents like yours or mine. Not only that, Ivan and other PTK students plan to raise funds to purchase desktop computers and web-cams, and host more Skype training sessions at the Park Manor nursing home in the future.

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