Ralph Cowan enrolled in the beginner’s course at The Harvard Square Center because of his 4-year old granddaughter. “I was trying to do something on my cellphone and she said ‘Give it to me, Grandpa. I’ll show you how to do it.’ That’s when I decided to take a computer course,” Cowan says.
Ralph learned about the center’s computer courses when he was attending a senior’s program where they discuss community issues, health and other topics. The program seemed perfect, especially since Ralph lives right around the corner from the center.
“I’m an electrician by trade, but I’m an entrepreneur,” says Cowan. “I started my own business when I was 24 and have been working for myself ever since. But I always thought my hands and fingers were too big to type or use a mouse. I thought men in construction didn’t use computers.”
Ralph has become an advocate for the computer courses offered by The Harvard Square Center. “If more people my age knew about the program, they would have to open up a bigger location,” he said. “You can’t get by today without knowing something about a computer – how to pay bills, how to send and receive emails. Now I have an email address, which I never had before I enrolled. I’m doing things on my computer I never imagined could be done. That’s why I’m excited about the Advanced Course, which I’ll be starting next week.”
The Harvard Square Center provides community members with many needed programs including Toys for Tots, Martial Arts training, Mentoring, access to Cleveland Food Bank, and, of course, computer classes. “The computer class was borne because the way of the world is technology. What’s more, our classes bring our youth and adults together on that adventure,” says Lester Devese, president of The Harvard Square Center. “We were thrilled to surprise our senior graduates with new computers.”
Your support of UBF initially provided for the expansion of The Harvard Square Center’s computer lab from a few laptops to a full-blown computer class. What’s more, the center is expanding the reach of their programming by collaborating with other organizations, including the National Black Caucus Association, the Greater Friendship Baptist Church, and the City of Cleveland. These collaborations allow the center to offer programming for seniors throughout the city, as well as local schools.