My name is Ben Burns, and I am the founder of GenLynk™. I am very involved in community service through student groups within my high school and have worked with senior citizens in a number of service projects. I created GenLynk in March of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


When I heard that a local nursing home was closing its doors to all non-essential visitors to prevent the spread of COVID-19, I began exploring the idea of "virtual visits" to assisted living homes. I imagined a system in which members of the community could reach out to isolated seniors through digital means and be able to maintain this contact on a regular basis. This "virtual buddy" system would not only mitigate the negative effects of isolation, but would also forge meaningful intergenerational connections that could bring communities closer together in ways that would otherwise not be possible. Quickly, this idea expanded beyond nursing homes and out into the general public, where all senior citizens can participate.


What started out as a small, hometown service project has now grown to encompass several communities in the Greater Boston area. I hope to see GenLynk continue to expand and connect communities in a safe and positive way.


Thank you to our community outreach partners that help spread the word about GenLynk.