When the pandemic hit, it looked like Beverly Black might have to forgo quality time with her new great-grandchild. She was devastated…until she had the opportunity to join the NYCHA Connected program and her world opened up. Beverly went from not being able to use the internet to bonding with the newest member of her family via Zoom in a matter of weeks.
What is your work background?
I always pursued what I loved doing, which is working with children and elderly people…being their advocates. So I’ve been a private child care provider for over 40 years and it’s just a joyous experience.
It seems like family is an important cornerstone of your life.
I have three children, two boys and a girl. I always taught them the importance of family and closeness. That message has now been passed through four generations – most recently to my great-grandson, who was born last October.
“…when I actually got to meet my great-grandson in person for the first time he knew my voice already because he had heard it so much.”
How did you get involved in Senior Planet?
I got involved in March of 2020, when the Connected NYCHA program started. I received a tablet and took the first class I could. Now, I make sure to participate in every class available to me because it means I’m not lonely or feeling like a shut-in. I’m in a group with other people who are experiencing the same thing as me. I made myself so involved in things that I never had time to be depressed or lonely.
Sounds like the new tablet and Senior Planet classes really helped you connect with new people. Did it help you connect with anyone you already knew?
Oh, yes. I dove right in to learning how to use the tablet because my sister, who is a minister at a church in Arizona, started doing Zoom church services. I was able to attend those within a few weeks of the start of lock-down.
And then, when my great-grandson was born in October I started doing Zoom meetings with him and my grandson. It was amazing! When I actually got to meet him in person he knew my voice already because he had heard it so much.
That’s the magic of technology to me!
Yes, it is! He got so used to my voice that when I would talk to my grandson and my great-grandson couldn’t see me, he would start looking all around searching for me.
I love that! One last question: What does aging with attitude mean to you?
When I received the “aging with attitude” shirt from Senior Planet, it made me feel powerful and strong. I immediately took a picture, sent it to my sister and told her that “I feel like I have a new life.”
Have a question about membership in the Connected NYCHA program? Contact our us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 917-863-4658.
In the United States, there are nearly 22 million older adults who do not have wireline broadband at home. Race is a strong predictor, with Latinos and Blacks disproportionately experiencing higher rates of nonparticipation, according to the Aging Connected report: Exposing the Hidden Connectivity Crisis for Older Adults. Aging Connected is meant to help bridge that gap. For more information, visit here or call 1-877-745-1930.