Voices From the Lab: Never Too Old to Learn

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Photo of Troy Shackles on left and Meredith Sisnett

Troy Shackles and Meredith Sisnett

Troy Shackles and Meredith Sisnett

In Troy Shackles lifetime, he has seen the invention of many consumer products that have changed our lives–the electric razor (1928), TV Remote Control (1955), handheld calculator (1967), Sony Walkman (1979), and MP3 player (1998). Like most people, he learned over time by trial and error how to use these new “gadgets.”

When 89-year-old Veteran, Troy, came to Austin Free-Net’s Public Computer Center at the St. John’s Neighborhood location, he needed help with his
computer skills.  He had a new laptop and was highly motivated to learn how to use it.  Shackles said that after he lost his wife a few years ago, he made a promise that he would “Never stop going to church and school.”

The St. John’s Neighborhood Center became the new school for Troy and he was an eager student.   He wanted to learn how to use his laptop computer and how to correspond with others on the Internet.  While taking several classes with other Senior Citizens, he learned the basics of computer literacy and worked his way up to sending e-mails.  Troy
had such a great experience with the volunteers and staff in the senior program that he decided to continue his education when the program ended.

Next stop on his educational journey was visiting the Public Computer lab at the DeWitty Center. Working one-on-one with Trainer Meredith Sisnett, he fine tuned his computer skills.  “He enjoyed working with me and our volunteers. We also learned a lot about
him and what it was like growing up in a small Texas town near Manor almost a century ago,” said Meredith.

Photo of train on track in Manor, Texas circa 1920

Manor, Texas circa 1920

Troy may be one of AFN’s oldest clients, however, he is but one of the many seniors we serve in our community.  Within a safe and welcoming environment, Seniors can learn computer literacy in a program tailored to their skill level.  AFN offers free Internet access and basic computer classes at multiple locations including Senior Centers.

Do you know a Senior who will benefit from our free Basic Computer Classes?  If
so, have them come stop by the DeWitty Center and meet with Meredith or
any one of our skilled Trainers. Troy has proven that you are never too
old to learn how to be tech smart.

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