Eva is a beloved Senior Planet trainer with a passion for her students and a penchant for using dance parties to kick-off class. We spoke with her about being a technology trainer and what advice she’d give to anyone too intimidated to start learning.
You can learn more about the Connected NYCHA initiative here.
How long have you been working with Senior Planet?
Since 2017 or 2018? I’ve been having so much fun that I lost track – I don’t even count it as a job anymore. Becoming a Senior Planet trainer was like a new beginning for me. I get peace from it.
Do you have advice for someone intimidated by learning virtually?
When I call people to invite them to classes and they say they aren’t interested I tell them that it’s like candy! If you like it, you can keep eating it. If you don’t, throw it out. But give me 15 minutes and if you don’t think you’ve learned something I won’t bother you again. If you learn something, keep coming.
I used to do sales, so I am good at that part.
“One of the things that makes me happiest is seeing results.”
What do you love about being a Trainer?
In each class I get to connect with people from different backgrounds and with different stories. Something we always end up saying in class is: “Now we are no longer students and teacher – we are like family.”
But one of the things that makes me happiest is seeing results. For every class I teach, I say: “This class is free however there is a type of payment. I’m going to teach you something and you pay me back by sending me your homework to prove that you learned it.”
What has it been like teaching exclusively virtually with Connected NYCHA?
In the beginning I was a little bit afraid. I was used to teaching in person where I have my way to doing things and I smile a lot and can connect with people. Now I’m just in my house. What if they don’t like me? How will I know if they don’t understand what I’m teaching?
But there are benefits to virtual learning like how students come together from all over the city, and I can see all their faces at once when I teach.
What does aging with attitude mean to you?
Changing the world with what I do!
Any final words?
My recommendation to every senior is that if you feel alone or bored – come to one of our classes! We’re waiting for you and you’re going to love it.
Pam Hugi is Senior Planet’s Community and Advocacy Manager. Based in Brooklyn, she runs Senior Planet’s Supporter program in addition to being a contributing writer for this site. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.