Mercer Island High School junior Sophia Rosales volunteers with TeleHealth Access for Seniors. Courtesy photo

Mercer Island High School junior Sophia Rosales volunteers with TeleHealth Access for Seniors. Courtesy photo

Making a difference in people’s lives at TeleHealth Access for Seniors

MIHS junior Rosales volunteers with nonprofit.

Sophia Rosales has taken her volunteering to a new level with TeleHealth Access for Seniors.

As a Mercer Island High School (MIHS) sophomore last year during the height of the pandemic, Rosales searched for a way to help others, specifically in the health-care realm since she intends to major in nursing in college.

TeleHealth Access for Seniors, which was launched by Florida-based high school and Yale University students in March of 2020, came onto her radar and she was attracted to the work the nonprofit does in providing seniors and low-income communities with devices (phones, iPads and laptops), instructions and free tech support to connect them to their physicians.

“I felt like it would be a really good match,” said Rosales, who initially viewed it as a project and it soon turned into a passion when her hard-working Washington team began dropping off items at clinics. “I do feel like it is really rewarding, just getting a chance to actually go over to the clinics that we’re helping out.”

The current MIHS junior formerly volunteered in the community with the school’s Key Club and with a summer program at Luther Burbank Park during her middle school years. For now, she’s all in with TeleHealth Access for Seniors and has been learning about the process of writing grant applications, securing media features on the nonprofit and more.

Rosales feels like she’s making a difference in people’s lives at TeleHealth Access for Seniors.

“Even if we just donate maybe two devices, we know that those are going to two individual people that will really need it,” she said. “I guess I’ve never really thought of my volunteering impacting a life this kind of way.”

Ever since she was a child, Rosales has been interested in science, health care and nursing, and volunteering with TeleHealth Access for Seniors has brought her to the realization that this is the path she wants to traverse.

TeleHealth Access for Seniors put its Washington chapter on the map in May of 2020 and the nonprofit has undergone a brisk expansion and currently has chapters in 26 states.

University of Washington students Kathy Cui, who is studying neuroscience, and Nhu Nguyen, a public health-global health and biology major, are co-leads for the Washington chapter and see Rosales as an integral part of their 20-volunteer team consisting of college students and high schoolers.

“I think her drive for service for giving back to the community, it’s been really impressive to me,” Nguyen said.

In Washington at press time, TeleHealth Access for Seniors has raised $13,000-plus, donated 248 devices and partnered with International Community Health Services and HealthPoint Community Health Center in King County and Community Health Center of Snohomish County.

TeleHealth Access for Seniors’ nationwide statistics at press time are: $210,000 raised, 3,550 devices donated, 125 partner clinics/hospitals served and 425 high school and college student volunteers.

For more information, visit www.telehealthforseniors.org. To make a device donation, visit https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScTEJBdk759w-KhWRSLuzoaHt3wY46N8xg_r-teKAUalmmKnA/viewform, and to make a monetary donation, visit www.gofundme.com/f/cjnfm8-telehealth-access-for-seniors.

TeleHealth Access for Seniors team Washington members drop off devices at the Renton Housing Authority’s HealthPoint Sunset Neighborhood Center in December of 2020. Courtesy photo

TeleHealth Access for Seniors team Washington members drop off devices at the Renton Housing Authority’s HealthPoint Sunset Neighborhood Center in December of 2020. Courtesy photo




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