Before the pandemic, Elmira Lagundi was a regular at Canon Kip Senior Center, where she had nutritious lunches with friends, played bingo, and participated in singing and dancing activities. After several months of COVID-induced isolation and lockdown, she was contacted by the senior center to see if she was interested in distance learning computer classes provided by CTN. Elmira had used computers while working in medical offices between 1989 and 2013 at a front-desk administrative position. She also had some limited technology experience as a medical assistant after her graduation from City College of San Francisco. Recently, Elmira’s computer experience was limited to what she could do on her phone.
Josie Boyle, a bilingual digital literacy instructor with CTN, was Elmira’s trainer in the Home Connect program. The two rapidly moved through the first five sessions, thanks in part to Elmira’s previous tech experience. Once the tablet familiarization session was mastered, they progressed to downloading some of the fun apps. She loves Zoom! “I have several Zoom classes or meetings almost every day,” Elmira said. “I join in a few exercise classes from the senior center and participate in four choir practices — one in English, one in Spanish, one in the language of the Philippines, and one that combines all three! I love it all; I missed my friends so much when I couldn’t see them.”
Before the pandemic, Elmira volunteered for the San Francisco Ballet. Now that there are no live performances, the Ballet provides its volunteers with online access to past performances that she can watch on her new tablet. She also uses it to regularly communicate with her grandniece and grandnephew back in the Philippines. Elmira tries to remain active, and her new tablet and training make it so much easier to do so.
On election day, Elmira was a poll worker in her neighborhood. Thank you for your service, Elmira!