Sunday, September 27, 2020

MIA’s Tech Students Offer Help to Community

Photo by Barry GwinnMIA Tech Tutors discuss a problem. From left: Allesandro Donato, Vincent Piranio, Sean Sorrick, Tina Nash, and Mariana Ruiz Vallejo. Nash is a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley, who sponsors the group by providing an advisor for meetings.

Photo by Barry GwinnMIA Tech Tutors discuss a problem. From left: Allesandro Donato, Vincent Piranio, Sean Sorrick, Tina Nash, and Mariana Ruiz Vallejo. Nash is a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley, who sponsors the group by providing an advisor for meetings.

By Barry Gwinn 

A small group of dedicated Marco Island Academy (MIA) techies meets every other Wednesday in Room 106 at MIA. They style the group as Tech Tutoring and will take a shot at fixing most any tech problem that comes to their attention. They are devoted to solving the software problems of anyone who needs help because of confusion or inability to utilize a software app or program.

The group started meeting four years ago, with the goal of helping fellow students and school staff with their software problems. They have since expanded into a community outreach wherein all comers are welcome. If you bring in your laptop, smart phone, or other software-run device, they will show you how to clear the cobwebs away. If you have only a desktop, and can’t bring it in, they will take the time to explain what needs to be done. One such lady was confused by her Facebook program and came in for help. “We took over an hour with her,” said Vincent Piranio, a junior and vice president of the club, “Her eyes would glaze over when trying to use Facebook. When she left, she seemed to have mastered it. We were glad to help.”

Tech Tutoring will tackle most anything. “Last year a man brought in his Fitbit bracelet,” said Piranio, “He just had heart surgery and wanted to resume exercising. [At his doctor’s urging] He bought a Fitbit to measure his heart rate. We set it up for him.” Sean Sorrick, a sophomore, has built two computers and is interested in faulty hardware as well. He was able to diagnose the hardware problem of one of MIA’s teachers and suggest what needed to be fixed. “I was able to help expedite the repair of the teacher’s computer,” said Sorrick, “Right now, we do not have the equipment to deal with it ourselves.”

So, whether you are chairman of MIA’s board, or a Goodland grandmother having trouble with her email, Tech Tutoring would like to help, free of charge. These students get credit for their required community service hours when they spend time with you. I plan to haunt their next few meeting myself. I need help with a number of things, which I have been putting off. Their meeting schedule through December will be: 10/19, 11/2, 11/16, 11/30, and 12/14, from 3:30 to 4:30 PM. Drop in and let these guys (and one gal) show you their stuff. They would love to see you.

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