When Leroy Cooper’s sister experienced a health crisis, the result of organ rejection following her kidney transplant, he quit his job and moved to San Francisco to become her caregiver. Sadly, she passed away, and Mr. Cooper was left without a job. An older adult, he was concerned about his job prospects. He recalled of the time, “employers were hesitant to hire people my age.” But after connecting with Felton Institute in 2013, he found that not only could he bring his skills and expertise, but also build upon them. Mr. Cooper brought his dedication, hard work, and experience to Felton. He started as a temporary contractor and moved his way up to a full-time, permanent employee. As Network Administrator for Felton’s IT Department, his skills and determination have supported the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) and most recently, the Integrated Health and Resource Team (IHART). Without Felton Institute he said, “I don’t know where I would be right now.”

Working with IHART, a mobile community crises intervention team, Cooper makes sure that all their IT needs run smoothly. Mr. Cooper is proud to be helping support vital services that serve vulnerable populations. “There is such a great need to go out and give resources to people that have mental health challenges and let them know there’s help for them.” The mission of Felton inspires him in his daily work. “I’m working at a place that’s helping people. And I feel good about that.”

Ageism and misconceptions about older adults impact the livelihoods of seniors. Mr. Cooper explained, “Employers think older people are set in their ways or that they’re not able to learn new things.” Mr. Cooper, however, challenges those assumptions. His skills and decade-long tenure show just how valuable he is. And he’s still learning. Cooper is currently pursuing his certificate in network administration.

Mr. Cooper’s experience is a testament to the value and skills that older adults bring to the workplace. His message to older adults who are struggling to find employment is, “Don’t give up. Keep trying,” he encourages. “There are resources out there and places like Felton Institute that are there to help.”

For more information about Felton Institute’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) program, visit their program page at felton.org/SCSEP. You can also contact them directly via email at scsep@felton.org or call (415) 982-7007 ext. 334.


Felton Institute responds to the needs of our community by providing innovative, evidence-informed social services to transform lives. Our organization offers 50+ programs that address mental health, the unhoused, early care and education, those impacted by the justice system, transitional age youth, as well as aging adults. Our award-winning programs, which have been recognized as national models, combine the latest scientific research with cultural sensitivity and a deep commitment to supporting and reflecting the communities we serve.

Founded in 1889, Felton is the oldest secular non-profit social services provider in the City and County of San Francisco. We have expanded our services across most Bay Area counties and continue to be at the forefront of pioneering new approaches to meet the emerging needs of underserved populations.

We know what it looks like to successfully build community.

We foster impactful change by strengthening the community as a premiere service provider. We also strengthen other service providers by supporting them in their fiscal, human resources, communications, IT and overall agency operations. With Felton’s support, they are able to focus on providing the best services to their clients, doing the work they were meant to do.

Felton empowers the community and ensures successful outcomes to all we engage with.

Felton Institute is a tax-exempt organization registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit under EIN 94-1156530.