August 21, 2012 | Volunteer Spotlight
Verizon IT Volunteers Bring Technology to NJ Boys & Girls Club
The Verizon IT volunteers include Janet Hallacker, Eric Rocha, Frank Estremera, Harold Domke, Pranav Bagri, Matthew Jaskiewicz, Claire Cooney, Yuan Dong and the management support from Lynn Jene and Deborah Ford. The training lead was Samuel Randolph.
After IT’s Bob Micari visited a Verizon volunteer activity in Connecticut three years ago, he wanted to organize similar programs in New Jersey.
Micari was particularly touched by a story about a boy who attended a literary program many years earlier at the Boys & Girls Club and later became a prominent news reporter.
“It really touched me that a Verizon program inspired this boy, and I was all in from that point on,” said Micari, who was invited to the Connecticut program by Verizon IT VP Kevin Shine.
He reached out to the Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County (New Jersey), which has locations in Asbury Park and Red Bank, and quickly realized their facilities needed a technology overhaul to accommodate any type of training program. Micari organized a group of Verizon volunteers to paint the computer rooms and provide new software and Internet access. The Verizon Foundation also provided $5,000 in funding.
“This set the stage for our training effort,” Micari said, and a group of Verizon volunteers recently completed an eight-week Microsoft basics training class that provided valuable skiils in Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel to students, ages 7 to 14 years.
The volunteer program also attracted the attention of N.J. State Sen. Jennifer Beck, whose chief of staff awarded the Verizon team an official state proclamation for the technological advancements offered to the Boys and Girls Clubs in both locations.
In the future, the IT volunteers plan to start a HTML training course and a robotics program for the students.
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