2014

DoSomething.org Joins Forces with Mentor Up this Holiday Season to Bridge the Generation Gap

Grandparents Gone Wired, with support from YouTube star iJustine, will encourage teens to teach 50+ Americans how to stay connected, through technology, with their loved ones over the holidays

NEW YORK, Oct. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- DoSomething.org has joined forces with Mentor Up, a new way to make a difference by AARP Foundation, to launch this year's Grandparents Gone Wired campaign, which will encourage teens across the country to get 50+ Americans set up on current technology and prepare them for independent technology use.

Studies show that Internet use reduces the risk of depression, yet 1 in 4 Americans 50-64 don't know how to use the internet. That's where teens come in: their digital skills and networking know-how can make a huge difference for people over 50 who are stressed, unemployed, and disconnected. DoSomething.org is proud to partner with Mentor Up by AARP Foundation to bridge the generation gap, by encouraging young people across the country to be digital coaches for 50+ loved ones in their family and community.

Starting today through January, Grandparents Gone Wired will provide the opportunity for teens across the country to teach something to people older than they are (which feels pretty awesome; take that intimidating Algebra teacher!). Teens will highlight their skills in a tangible way that will positively impact the quality of life of someone they care about, and through participation they will also be eligible to win a $4,000 scholarship.

DoSomething.org and Mentor Up launched a Public Service Announcement about Grandparents Gone Wired from iJustine, one of the most-subscribed female personalities on YouTube.

"My life is all about utilizing technology to reach people, which is why I'm teaming up with DoSomething.org to support Grandparents Gone Wired for the second year in a row. My goal is for seniors across the country to become as wired as my own grandma who FaceTimes 'every day, every day,'" said iJustine.

The PSA can be viewed here.

The campaign, in its third year, kicks off as students gear up for holiday break where they will be spending more time at home. Grandparents Gone Wired provides a meaningful, fun, and unique way to spend time with loved ones, and maybe even get grandpa set up social media so he can post real-time updates all the way through Thanksgiving dinner #justspilledgravyonpants.

DoSomething.org has also teamed with AOL, who has a committed team focused on Cause Marketing & Community Relations, to be the lead marketing partner for Grandparents Gone Wired. AOL will be supporting the campaign across the diverse set of its brands focused on the importance of technology. Stars of AOL original series, such as HardWired featuring Justine Ezarik (known online as iJustine) will be supporting the campaign as well. 

"I love Grandparents Gone Wired because it's all about teens using their natural abilities to help people in their community stay connected. They are giving something valuable in the form of skills and experience, not through money which isn't relevant for young people," said Nancy Lublin, CEO and Chief Old Person at DoSomething.org. "I'm hoping this year's Grandparents Gone Wired will inspire a movement of Grandma Selfies nationwide."

"A reverse mentoring effort, Mentor Up draws on the digital savvy and "can do" spirit of a younger generation to enhance the lives of older adults through technology literacy and the creation of meaningful relationships," said Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP Foundation president. "There are millions of adults 50 and older living in a state of vulnerability. Mentor Up -- together with Grandparents Gone Wired will create opportunities for the generations to reconnect in a variety of ways, ultimately bringing them together."

To join Grandparents Gone Wired and learn more visit DoSomething.org/grandparents.

About DoSomething.org
We love teens. They are creative, active, wired…and frustrated that our world is so messed up. DoSomething.org harnesses that awesome energy and unleashes it on causes teens care about. Almost every week, we launch a new national campaign. The call to action is always something that has a real impact and doesn't require money, an adult, or a car. With a goal of 5 million active members by 2015, DoSomething.org is one of the largest organizations in the US for teens and social change. Join us at www.DoSomething.org.

About Mentor Up
Mentor Up is a new way to make a difference from AARP Foundation that brings together the younger generation's energy and talents to pursue reverse mentoring and community service opportunities that help people 50 and older. In addition, Mentor Up is also working with organizations rooted in service and driven by social missions, including the 4-H, DoSomething.org, Generations United, The Intergenerational Center at Temple University, Magic Johnson Foundation and Facebook. For more information about Mentor Up, visit www.mentorup.org.

About iJustine
Justine Ezarik a.k.a. iJustine is a one-woman new media phenomenon: techie, gamer, vlogger, and digital influencer. She is one of the top female personalities on YouTube amassing over 3 million subscribers across her channels, more than 1.5 million Twitter followers and has garnered more than 460 million views on her videos. In the same month Justine was named one of the Hollywood Reporters 50 most powerful digital players as well as one of Maxim Magazine's Hot 100. In 2012, she was ranked the #6 most influential personality by The Daily Beast's Digital Power Index, amongst the rankings of Lady Gaga and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley.

In 2013, Justine signed with management firm Addition Digital Strategies and United Talent Agency (UTA).

About AOL
AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is a brand company, committed to continuously innovating, growing, and investing in brands and experiences that inform, entertain, and connect the world. The home of a world-class collection of premium brands, AOL creates original content that engages audiences on a local and global scale. We help marketers connect with these audiences through effective and engaging digital advertising solutions.

SOURCE DoSomething.org



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