After retiring from her job as legal assistant with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Carol Wexelbaum was looking for a new way to stay busy and give back to her community. Luckily for us, she found Community Technology Network (CTN) and has now been an amazing volunteer at the Castro Senior Center for over a year!
Originally from Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, Carol has lived near the Castro neighborhood for about 30 years. She is a member of the Castro Senior Center, where she takes exercise classes three to four times a week, so she is truly giving back to her neighbors through her service at the center. She tutors seniors one-on-one every Tuesday afternoon and just recently began teaching our E-Health Literacy workshop.
“Ninety-nine percent of New Yorkers are impatient, but tutoring has taught me to be patient,” Carol says. “My favorite thing about tutoring is the gratitude I get from my students. Something they never thought they would be able to do, now they can! One student learned to type, and another found his cousin on Facebook, and now they can communicate. I get a real sense of accomplishment from it. I’m doing something worthwhile, and I’m giving them something they need. And they don’t mind listening to me talk!”
After tutoring for almost a year, Carol decided it was time to take the next step and teach a workshop. Along with fellow volunteers Norm Bohrer and Robert Posey, Carol led Community Technology Network’s first ever E-Health Literacy workshop at Aquatic Park Senior Center. “I still felt a sense of insecurity and wasn’t ready to take on the full workshop,” Carol said. “There were three of us doing it, so we divided it into three parts and, at the urging of Norm and Robert, I decided to do the last part. After, people said it was fantastic and they really enjoyed my lesson. So I started feeling like, ‘Well, I guess I can do it!’ I felt really good about it.”
After the class, Carol helped students at Aquatic Park with follow-up tutoring on the topic. Less than two months later, she felt ready to lead a full class herself at the Castro Senior Center. She had seven students present, and her class was such a hit that even a random passerby who overheard part of her training signed up for a one-on-one follow-up session with her!
Carol has been such an incredible help to CTN and the Castro Center this past year — so much so that we presented her with our “Rising Star” award at our Volunteer Appreciation Party. We are so blessed to have Carol as part of our Digital Literacy Corps, and we hope she stays with us for many years to come!
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