For Immediate Release – October 19, 2020

Saint John, NB — The YMCA of Greater Saint John has launched a new program to increase access, understanding, and learning of digital literacy skills for older adults.

The Digital Literacy Program for older adults, launching this month, was developed to match youth volunteers as technology mentors, with older adults who are either looking to improve their current knowledge or begin their journey with technology.

“At the Y we believe in supporting all ages and all stages to develop new skills, I believe this program does just that for the older adults and the youth in our community.” Says Shilo Boucher, President and CEO, “The one-on-one sessions are geared towards the participants interests and will be focused on what they want to learn.”

The older adult population is among the most vulnerable to COVID-19 and are likely to spend more time physically distancing for longer than the rest of the general population. Social isolation puts them at greater risk of depression and anxiety, and can even lead to health problems such as cognitive decline and heart disease. While technology can be effective in connecting isolated seniors with friends and family, access to technology and digital literacy is still an issue.

This mentoring program will provide important youth development opportunities and provide older adults with the skills and confidence to access a variety of information and services online. There are a several topics including; navigating computer settings, web browsing, cybersecurity and safety, setting up and using social media and how to use communication platforms like Zoom to stay connected with family and friends.

Mentoring sessions are available both virtually and in-person based out of the Irving Oil Field House, following government guidelines, to ensure that social distancing measures are being maintained. All volunteer have completed the Connected Canadians Certified Technology Mentor training and have been evaluated to ensure consistent quality of information as well as how to mentor older adults.

Thanks to the New Horizons for Seniors Program, the Y is able to offer this program to all older adults in the community, free of charge. Should financial barriers be a concern, this program also includes financing support from the Strong Communities Campaign, which can assist in the purchase of technology and transportation to sessions.

If you are interested in joining the program as a mentor or participant please contact Samantha Howe, Volunteer Coordinator, for more information at 506-646-2116 or email

About the YMCA of Greater Saint John

The YMCA of Greater Saint John exists to build healthy communities. As a registered charitable organization, the Y relies on donations to ensure that no one in our community is turned away from partaking in life-enriching Y services due to financial limitations. Please consider supporting your community by donating today – because there is no Y without you!

The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) is a federal grants and contributions program. It provides funding for projects that make a difference in the lives of seniors and in their communities.

For more information on the Digital Program for Older Adults, please visit our website

Media Contact

Kristen Wheaton Clayton
Chief Development Officer
+1-506-634-4927 | +1-506-343-1702