Inspiration: I have felt lonely and been socially isolated during different times of my life and can relate both to the pain of loneliness and social isolation and the joy of connection through shared activities.
What it does: Reduces elders' loneliness and social isolation nationwide by creating a web page on every county's website with links to senior programs and activities.
How I built it: We have the approval to have a webpage on the Monterey County website from the Advisory Council to the Monterey County Area Agency on Aging. We are currently in the research and recruitment phase of the project.
Challenges I ran into: Time. I am a student and intern at CSUMB and am involved in community leadership roles. I also discovered there were more senior programs than I realized and many needed publicity through website development and social media.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of: Graduating from Cabrillo College with an AA in Health Science/Community Health. Going back to school for a BA at CSUMB in Collaborative Health and Human Services with concentrations in Public Administration/Nonprofit Management and (Macro)Social Work. Developing the idea for this social entrepreneurship.
What I learned: I learned that some senior programs are run by different sources. Senior Centers (city-owned or nonprofits with membership fees), CHISPA affordable housing for seniors, the Parks and Recreation Centers of different cities, a county Area Agency on Aging, a local nonprofit (Alliance on Aging) that serves seniors throughout a county, assisted living or senior living facilities, and other organizations that support senior programs. Many of these different sources welcomed help with creating or developing their websites to publicize their programs, services, and activities. Also, Monterey County, like many, most, or perhaps all, other counties in the U.S. did not have a central webpage that lists all the senior programs with links to their programs, services, and activities. If we had that central webpage in every county, locals would know where to go to do what they would like with other older adults and traveling seniors could do activities with local seniors, and making friends who could visit them also. This would be a wonderful way to build up social networks and reduce loneliness and social isolation.
What's next for Reducing Elders' Loneliness and Social Isolation Nationwide: Build a team and start a social entrepreneurship. Apply for grants, beginning with having a winning project for the new startup at Z hackathon