On April 21st, the YPIE Tech Squad was recognized with the Westchester County J.R. Tesone Youth Public Health Service Award for their impressive work helping seniors in Yonkers during the pandemic stay connected with their loved ones and schedule vaccine appointments.
YPIE TechSquad members Gabriel and Nick joined YPIE Executive Director Sam Wallis to accept this very prestigious award on behalf of the more than 20 students who participated in the Tech Squad.
Thanks to The City of Yonkers Office for the Aging and WJCS NNORC program for giving these students the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Yonkers seniors.
The Westchester County Board of Health 2022 Public Health Service Awards recognized outstanding contributions to public health in Westchester by three adults, 23 students and six organizations and celebrated the accomplishments of the public health community.
About the YPIE Tech Squad
The YPIE Tech Squad is a dynamic group of Yonkers high school students organized by Yonkers Partners in Education. Comprised of 22 students, each was partnered with one or more senior citizens in May 2020 to share their expertise as digital natives with older Yonkers residents.
Over time, working remotely and patiently, these students taught the seniors how to make better use of their smart phones, ipads, computers, apps and Zoom to stay connected with friends and family during the pandemic. Students taught seniors tips and skills and basic use of technology, enabling them to join health and wellness programs and activities. They gave seniors step-by-step instructions on how to set up their printers, schedule zoom chats with relatives and navigate their devices.
Through their technology mentoring, the students and seniors became close and held a Friendsgiving together, where they played games. The students also became very involved in the Yonkers effort to sign homebound seniors up for COVID-19 vaccines. Through their persistence, patience and collaboration, they were able to arrange for 1,600 seniors to get vaccinated in their own homes.