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MCACC social media class helps Shawndrea McClendon reunite with her sister

Facebook2When Jasmine Whitley, a developmental specialist, began teaching a class on social media to people supported at Monarch’s Creative Arts and Community Center (MCACC) in Southern Pines, she never dreamed she’d help someone find a long-lost family member.

Shawndrea McClendon attends MCACC and is also a resident at Monarch’s Pennsylvania Avenue home, said Rahnelle Rosado, MCACC’s program manager.

“She’s been here a couple of years,” Rosado said, “and she talks about her family a lot.”

But when McClendon’s mother died some years ago, she lost contact with her sister.

Fast-forward to January 2016, when she began taking Whitley’s class.

“We talked about what social media was and I explained to her about Facebook,” Whitley remembers. “She gave me her sister’s name to see if we could find her. I typed in her name, and it popped right up. It was so thrilling for her. She told me, ‘That’s my sister!’” It was a touching moment.

The two sent McClendon’s sister a message, and they were able to talk on the phone soon after. McClendon learned that she has a nephew.

McClendon and her sister have plans to meet in April close to her birthday.

“She was just overjoyed to find her sister,” Whitley said. “It really made her day. That’s all she talked about all day.”

Whitley’s social media class is fairly small, so she has plenty of opportunities to work one-on-one with each participant.

“We all sit at the table and communicate as a group,” she said. “We have talked about the do’s and don’ts of social media.”

The group is sure to make other exciting discoveries.

“If I can help one person,” Whitley said, “that’s good enough for me.”

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