Empowering Youth to Teach Computer Skills to Adults

Virginia State University’s (VSU) 4-H Program recently received a $141,000 grant to expand efforts to empower teens to teach digital skills to adults.

The National 4-H Tech Changemakers (TCM) program uses a teens-as-teachers approach with teen leaders learning digital skills to teach to adults. The teens become certified Tech Changemakers and work in partnership with their 4-H educators to use prepared lesson plans to virtually teach digital skills to adults in their communities. The lesson plans focus on digital skills that help drive economic opportunity, like using Microsoft Word to create resumes or learning to safely navigate the internet to find job search websites.

Tech Changemakers across the country are expected to reach about 50,000 adults in rural communities over the next year and enable them to use the skills they learn to achieve greater economic opportunity. The TCM program is a collaboration between the National 4-H Council, Verizon, Microsoft, Land O’ Lakes and land-grant universities.

Dr. Chantel Wilson, 4-H STEAM Extension Specialist with the Cooperative Extension at VSU, said that the program not only helps youth become leaders and adults become computer literate, but also helps bridge the technology gap, generational gap and foster greater collaboration between youth and adults.

Localities served include two returning communities in Charlotte and Halifax counties and 16 new communities in Amelia, Bedford, Campbell, Clarke, Gloucester, Greensville, Isle of Wight, Madison, Montgomery, Nottoway, Prince Edward and Rockbridge counties as well as the cities of Bristol, Lynchburg, Roanoke and Salem. The program will also include localities closer to VSU, including Prince George County and the cities of Petersburg and Richmond.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/ affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s April, 2021, Team Member of the Month

VCU Health CEO Scott Burnette and Executive Assistant Sandra Noel

South Hill, VA (5/14/21) – For the past six years, Sandra Noel has worked at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (VCU Health CMH) as an Executive Assistant to CEO Scott Burnette. She’s well known in the office and handles a little bit of everything, but mostly serves as the face of administration.

When the COVID vaccine clinics opened at the old hospital, Sandra helped check patients in at registration, escorted them to the vaccination area and answered questions. VCU Health CMH awarded Sandra with the April Team Member of the Month award for STAR service. STAR stands for Safety, Teamwork, Accountability and Relationships. Sandra received the STAR service award, STAR pin, a parking tag that allows her to park wherever she wants for the month of May and a $40 gift card.

“Sandra always made patients feel welcomed and at ease,” said Joanne Malone, Clinical Quality Analyst, on her nomination form. “Daily Sandra provides excellent customer service above and goes beyond the call of duty for everyone she meets, always with a kind word and a genuine smile. Sandra’s caring nature and cheerful personality make her a valuable asset at VCU Health CMH.”

“She is very conscientious about helping wherever she can and provides great customer service,” said Mr. Burnette. “She is a great role model for STAR service.”

“The COVID vaccine clinics were a wonderful experience,” said Sandra. “The patients were so glad to be getting their vaccination, it was uplifting. I was humbled to receive this award; I felt like I was just doing my job.”

Sandra is a firm believer in team effort. “You can’t do anything by yourself,” she said. “It takes a team; lean on others.”

Sandra lives in Valentines and is working on her bachelor’s degree in health care administration. She comes from an extensive background in the insurance industry, where she worked 36 years as an agent. She has a granddaughter in Elizabeth City who is the apple of her eye.

The only other nominee for April was Tracy Bailey in the C.A.R.E. offices.

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