Marquette students help book vaccine appointments for seniors

NOW: Marquette students help book vaccine appointments for seniors

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- For several years, Professor Gering at Marquette University has taught students about the digital divide. 

"The concept that not everyone has access to the internet," he said. 

A divide that became more clear during the pandemic. 

"I started thinking how might this be affecting seniors," said Gering. 

Especially as vaccines rolled out. 

"How would they be booking their vaccination appointments? Because there are so many of them that are without internet access," he said. 

In the past, one of his assignments for the class was to have students turn in their cellphones for 48 hours. 

"I thought this year, what a great way to change that up and ask them to keep their cellphones and instead use them to help book appointments for senior citizens," he said. 

"It's really important to me because I wasn’t able to see my grandparents for a very long time due to COVID," said student Ryan Anselment. 

When students were asked about different places the class could partner with, Anselment brought up the Hart Park Senior Center, a suggestion from his grandparents. 

"Helping out other seniors to be able to see their grandchildren is really important cause I missed out on a lot of time with them," he said. 

"We built out a process where people would call in and they would record necessary information and that would be forwarded onto us and I would forward it to the students to call and book the appointments," said Gering. 

Seniors in the Milwaukee area looking for help with an appointment simply need to call the Hart Park Senior Center at 414-471-8495. The vaccinations do not take place at the Hart Park Senior Center, but the students will find appointments at other locations. 

"I think it’s great when you can help your community," said Gering, "And I think it’s really good to teach college students the importance of giving back to your community and this is a great, easy way to do it."

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