Answering the call

USC Leonard Davis students presented ideas for smartphone applications in an AARP-sponsored competition that challenged them to come up with ways to use digital technology to address the problem of social isolation.

Jennifer Lee MSG ’18 won first place with CoLab, an application that allows older adults to post activity requests that students can then respond to and fulfill.

“Older adults actively want to keep learning, and with this app, students will be their teachers,” said Lee, who included features like speech-to-text messaging to keep the app user-friendly for diverse ages and abilities.

Second-place awards went to student teams behind Community Connection and Community Match, both of which help older adults find social activities or services.

The contest was part of the school’s continuing involvement in Purposeful Aging Los Angeles, a multiagency initiative to make the region more age-friendly. Laura Trejo, general manager of L.A.’s Department of Aging, and Dean Pinchas Cohen served as judges.

“I’m excited to see these inspiring ideas turn into solutions to help seniors,” said Cohen.