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Girl Scout Goes For The Gold

Teen teaches technology to seniors

Stewart Manor resident Megan Velsor has set out to bring computer basics to local senior citizens in an effort to earn the Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. A 12-year Girl Scout veteran, Velsor will provide step-by-step instruction for multiple devices, including personal computers, laptops, iPads, smart phones and cell phones. What makes her course unique is that no prior knowledge is necessary.

“This was extremely helpful, and I’m not too familiar with [computers],” said Floral Park resident Maria [last name withheld], who attended the course on Friday, July 12. Maria was pleased that the course provided the “real basics,” including how to turn devices on and off. During the two-hour session, she established an e-mail account and sent a message to her daughter.

Velsor has recruited two friends and fellow Girl Scouts, Meghan Carroll and Christina Rosselli, to help keep the instructor-to-student ratio low. “I realized how hard it is for the student to not have a one-on-one experience,” Velsor said. As a result, space is limited and interested parties are encouraged to call 516-488-0663 as soon as possible to register.

Velsor spent many hours preparing to teach this course and followed the seven steps required to achieve the Gold Award: identify an issue; investigate it thoroughly; get help and build your team; create a plan; present your plan and gather feedback; take action; and educate and inspire. The prestigious award, open only to girls in high school, challenges potential recipients “to change the world—or at least your corner of it--and be eligible for college scholarships, too,” according to the Girl Scouts website.

So how did Velsor identify an issue? “My grandparents inspired me because a few years ago when they got a computer for Christmas, it amazed me how they knew nothing about it. Not even how to turn it on,” she said.

“I prepared for the class by making different packets and slideshows to present to students,” Velsor said. Students are encouraged to bring their own laptops and similar devices if they have them, otherwise Velsor will supply them.

The classes are held at Stewart Manor Village Hall, 120 Covert Ave., from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., on the following dates: Aug. 5, 9 and 12. Enrollment is on a session-by-session basis, and registrants do not have to be Stewart Manor residents.