Willows SeniorNet

SNLC of San Jose Classroom

History of Willows SNLC

1992 December The Executive Board of the IBM San Jose Retirement Club, knowing that IBM and Pacific Bell had committed funding for a SeniorNet Learning Center in San Jose, asked Phil Carnahan to lead an effort to start a center in San Jose.
1993 February Initial meetings with Willows Staff. A site at the Willows Senior Center was located and contract negotiations were started between SeniorNet and the city of San Jose.

June IBM approves sponsorship funding

December San Jose City Council approves SeniorNet contract
1994 January Classroom is populated with 7 IBM PS/1's. 38 volunteers attend the "teach-the-teachers" class. Six IBM computers and printers were received and 35 volunteers were trained by SeniorNet's Dick Perkins and Joe Walton. A committee composed of a few of the volunteers worked with Pam Wagner-Rosales, Co-Director of the Willows Senior Center, to plan the start of classes and a Grand Opening ceremony.

March 9 Open Registration - 300 apply; 120 are enrolled in ten "Intro" classes; remainder are wait-listed.
  March 14 Ten classes in Introduction to Computers started.

March 26 Grand Opening ceremony on March 25, hosted by Pam, attended by Mayor Susan Hammer, Councilman Frank Fiscallini, Mary Furlong, sponsor representatives and more than 100 others.

May First ten classes are completed; Second session of classes begins; Saturday class is added
1995 January 2 PC's added - total now 9. 35 inch TV installed to display instructor's screen

April 10 PC's (one PC given by Intel). 69 Volunteers. Applications for Enrollment Pass 1000
  May SNLC has the largest membership of all 55 SeniorNet Learning Centers with over 500 members.

September 11 PC's (one IBM Aptiva purchased)

November 16 PC's (five PC's given by Intel and Acer)

December 18 PC's (one IBM Aptiva and one compatible purchased). Volunteers build new furniture and restructure classroom
1996 January Willows SNLC was featured in the Japanese magazine ASAHI

March 72 Volunteers

April The President s Service Award Citation, Points of Light Foundation, presented by President Bill Clinton. This was followed by congratulatory letters from: Senator Dianne Feinstein, May, 1996, Governor Pete Wilson, June, 1996

May Commendation: City of San Jose, presented by Mayor Susan Hammer. The SNLC is still the largest of 75 SeniorNet Learning Centers with over 550 members.

June Applications for Enrollment Pass 1500
1997 June 75 Volunteers. Applications for Enrollment Pass 2000

June Third Place, Learning Centers, World Wide Web Page Contest
1998 April Applications for Enrollment Pass 2500. All 18 PC's now upgraded for Multimedia; now have six phone lines

June Web page launched

August Over 1500 people have taken one or more classes (over 4300 students have been taught). 76 Volunteers (24 have taught, 68 have coached, all have helped)
1999 November Edwin Dewling Service Award initiated for outstanding volunteers
2000 January Jerry White is first volunteer to be presented with the Dewling Award

April Applications for Enrollment Pass 4000

April City of San Jose Outstanding Volunteer Award presented by Mayor Ron Gonzales

August San Jose splits into three centers, The Willows, Almaden and Cypress.
2001 October Al Hubbard presented Dewling Award
2002 December The first Willows volunteer holiday potluck is held
2003 September The willows SeniorNet Learning Center is featured as the cover story for the Willow Glen Resident
2004 March The Willows SeniorNet Learning Center celebrates its tenth anniversary. We held an afternoon banquet attended by SeniorNet Officers, former officers, District 6 Councilman, and 200 current Willows members.

March Commendation: City of San Jose, presented by Mayor Ron Gonzales and Councilman Ken Yeager. For 10 years of exemplary service and education to San Jose seniors.
2005 June Grant from EBay and City of San Jose to upgrade 20 machines

September Electronic Newsletter initiated to announce registrations
  November SNLCSJ received a grant from the city of San Jose for a loop system to be installed in the Lab so that students with a T-Coil on their hearing aides can turn it on to improve their hearing. Thanks to Ron Springer, Tom Wilson, and Joe Russo.

December Amplified sound system with T-coil system is installed.
2006 February Applications for enrollment are 5828. One hundred and two Volunteers (26 Instructors, others are coaches and administrative staff). Five sessions/year; 13 Courses/Session; 5 days/week

April President's Volunteer Service Award: Joe Russo, the Coordinator for SeniorNet at the Willows Learning Center, is presented with the Volunteer Service Award from President Bush.
2007 January Flat-panel monitors installed on all computers.
2007MarchLate registration via telephone begun
OctoberMail-in proxies accepted for registration
2008JuneDick Blum receives the first Judy Moak Award
OctoberImplemented data base registration
OctoberMachines were loaded with both Windows XP and Vista and the user could choose operating system at "boot up"
OctoberWillows Learning Center enrolls its 10,000 student
DecemberWillows receives the SeniorNet Chairman's Award
2009MarchWillows Awarded Best Practices in Advertising & Marketing from SeniorNet
August"How-To" Videos from Willows LC put on youtube.com
AugustTriple boot with XP, Vista and Windows 7 operating system was achieved
2010DecemberSlide show introductions to classes at Willows put on youtube.com
2011 April SeniorNet Willows officially became a non-profit 501(c)3 organization through the extra efforts of Dick Ferman. It was four years ago, on Oct 7, 2007, that President Joseph Russo suggested we apply for 501c(3) status.
  May Our national organization, SeniorNet, celebrated its 25 anniversary in Washington D.C. As part of that celebration, they asked each of the SeniorNet Learning Centers to send them a video telling them about their local organization. The Willows video is at youtube.com/watch?v=gncCJPUZVkY

Text provided by P. Carnahan, John McCulloch, Bill Souza, and Bonnie DeMalta.


Willow Glen Community Center
2175 Lincoln Avenue
San Jose, CA. 95125
(408) 448-6400