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State Honoree

Tim Wilken

Washington

Tim Wilken, 17, of Sprague, Wash., a member of the WSU Lincoln-Adams County 4-H and a student at Sprague High School, founded a program that provides computers and computer lessons to senior citizens and low-income families in his rural community. Tim saw the need for such a program when he realized that more than 60 percent of the small population in his community could not afford computers. “I feel it is important for people of all ages to have access to technology,” said Tim, who dedicated practically all of his spare time over the past year and a half to provide that access. He began by purchasing second-hand computers at yard sales. He then solicited donations from businesses and community agencies and convinced the local chamber of commerce to donate space to host a computer lab. Next, he trained a host of volunteers from his 4-H club to serve as computer teachers. So far, they have conducted more than 200 hours of beginning-computer and Internet classes for people from 9 to 91, and there is now a waiting list for future classes.