CTN volunteer Sean Lee adheres to the Asian philosophy of “filial piety”— he was taught to have the utmost respect for his elders and a dedication to serving them. “Since my parents and grandparents worked hard to raise me,” explains Sean, “I greatly value family time. I want to ensure that my elders have a comfortable life.”
When Sean’s grandmother suffered from a stroke some years ago, he realized the importance of treasuring the present moment and embracing those right in front of us. This gave him a passion for the aging community and led him to volunteer at a local convalescent home in high school. Sean felt sobered by the home’s atmosphere and realized how difficult it was for non-English-speakers to get the help and connections they need. After discovering CTN was seeking Cantonese-speaking volunteers to work with older adults, Sean felt it was the perfect opportunity to utilize his digital and bilingual skills for a cause he is passionate about.
As a digital native, Sean recognizes how learning technology skills that seem simple to him can make a huge difference in an older adult’s life. After he taught one of his learners, Kam Yuk, how to use Google Translate, she told him, “I don’t know what I would do without you.” She now can understand her prescription medicine, Zoom with friends, translate news articles, and even attend virtual events.
“My ability to give her the tools to explore the internet on her own is very satisfying for me,” says Sean. “Now she is a lot less lonely … she can explore her opinions on political topics. I feel like her quality of life has significantly improved.” Kam Yuk is the fourth learner Sean has worked with since volunteering with CTN. He is currently studying to be a physician at the University of Southern California. In the meantime, Sean is touching lives and making connections with isolated seniors. Our digital coaching program is not just about training; it’s about ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to lead a comfortable, full, and beautiful life — no matter their age.