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Technology is everywhere, and by understanding how to use a computer, seniors are able to connect with family, pay bills, schedule medical appointments, and keep up with world events that may impact them. Forty-five seniors from around Fresno County are now a bit more connected. They recently graduated from a free, 10-week technology class funded by the Next 50 Initiative.

The Next 50 Initiative was developed by a Colorado-based private foundation dedicated to funding mission-driven initiatives that improve the lives of the older adult population and their caregivers. The goal is to improve and sustain the quality of life for people in their second 50 years. The curriculum is provided by Older American Technology Services (OATS) Senior Planet.  It’s operated locally by Fresno EOC Foster Grandparent Program.


This program lays the groundwork needed to build computer skills. Using Chromebooks and iPads, seniors learned how to use a keyboard, how to email with attachments, how to search for items of interest online, internet safety, and more.


Graduations were held on September 15 and 16 in Fowler, Fresno, and Kerman. Six seniors received graduation certificates at the Fowler Senior Center, 11 seniors graduated at Fresno EOC Rev. Edward L. Swillis Neighborhood Youth Center which is home of the Local Conservation Corps and the administrative office location for the Foster Grandparent Program in southwest Fresno, and 28 grads were recognized at the Senior Center in Kerman.


The Foster Grandparent Program is currently seeking funding to continue the tech program for 2023. If you would like more information about the Next 50 Initiative or the Foster Grandparent Program, call (559) 263-8910 or email

About Fresno EOC Foster Grandparent ProgramThe Foster Grandparent Program bridges generations as senior volunteers provide one-to-one mentoring and emotional support to underserved infants, children, and teens throughout Fresno and Madera Counties, promoting literacy and academic success as well as fostering social-emotional and cognitive-behavioral development.

Foster Grandparent Program volunteers – referred to affectionately as Grandma or Grandpa – are matched with a young person that will most benefit from heartfelt attention or from guidance by way of an elder’s precious pearl of life wisdom.

The Foster Grandparent Program also promotes quality of life for seniors. A Foster Grandparent extends love and wisdom and devotes time and attention to mentor and nurture a young person who otherwise might not receive heartfelt sharing and caring. In exchange, the Foster Grandparent is afforded a rewarding opportunity to make a difference in the life of another, which in turn contributes toward an enhanced sense of purpose and self-worth.

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