Transforming lives through digital literacy.


“I’m so grateful for this opportunity to reach the world through my tablet!” says Senior Connect learner Patricia Blaine.

Born in Philadelphia, Patricia describes herself as a gypsy who has lived all over the place. With a husband in the Air Force, she spent time in Detroit, Nebraska, and Japan before winding up in Austin in 1971. A dedicated wife and mother throughout her life, Patricia Blaine is a performer at heart. Singing is her life’s vocation and great passion. Before having children, she worked as a professional singer and had made albums with the Motown group Challenger 3. Today, the 78-year-old Patricia is just as enthusiastic about singing as ever. She now wants to share that passion with the world via YouTube.

To gain new digital skills and fully embrace the benefits of the internet, Patricia joined our Senior Connect program at our Texas-based partner, Senior Access. She dived right into the curriculum, unafraid to explore or make mistakes. With the help and support of her digital literacy instructor at Senior Access, Sylvain Lacasse, Patricia felt confident in navigating her tablet. “Mr. Sylvain was very patient with me,” reflects Patricia. “He really showed me what different things meant. I never felt anxiety or anything about learning.”

One of Patricia’s favorite uses of her tablet is exploring historical events. While she was busy raising her kids, Patricia didn’t have time to keep up with the world around her. Now, she can use the web to bring back memories and discover what happened at different times in her life. She also enjoys taking virtual piano lessons and finding new recipes. “You can do so many wonderful things,” says Patricia. “Whatever your interest is, you are able to find it right away!”

After completing her initial Senior Connect sessions with Sylvain, Patricia began working with a volunteer digital coach to focus on making YouTube videos to share her singing gift. She is a devoted Christian and hopes to create Bible study videos that include a lesson and a song. To fellow seniors who might be hesitant to try out technology, here’s what Patricia has to say: “You got everything at your fingertips, and now all you gotta do is tap it and learn. There’s still a big world out there. And we can bring it to ourselves.”

Learner Spotlight: Patricia Blaine

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Anna Beth Lane