Tech-savvy teens help seniors with valuable skills

Have you ever been asked for help by a grandparent or parent with a tech problem, only to realize how behind the times your relative really is?

Wired for Connections, a Carmel High club for the past four years, has attempted to address this issue and help older citizens adjust to the inner workings of contemporary devices, ensuring that all people are comfortable navigating modern technology.

Former president and founder Sean Butler, who graduated from CHS in 2016, has been working closely with the current president, senior Alessandro Boaro, to continue improving the club’s mission.

“The purpose of this club is the reach out to the not-so-tech-savvy world and assist them with a variety of devices,” Boaro explains, “ranging from phones to laptops, so that they may be in touch with the latest technology and not feel stressed over the inability to use an iPhone.”

President Alessandro Boara works one-on-one with a senior citizen to help him grow more comfortable using an iPhone.

President Alessandro Boara works one-on-one with a senior citizen to help him grow more comfortable using an iPhone.

The club has been able to provide services for the community and expand its customer base through the local Apple branch. The club has a direct partnership with Apple in Monterey, which gives them access to any devices, mentors, technical support and resources needed to assist older generations.

“Our partnership with Apple is a distinct partnership in which we work closely with the directors and employees for ideal methods of tutoring the elderly with their electronics,” Boaro explains. “We get access to large Apple sensitivity training sessions, and most importantly one-on-one access to personal expertise in specialized areas of Apple’s focal points of prestige service.”

Through this point in the school year, the club has been working closely with Apple to train mentors and learn effective mentoring methods to enhance one-on-one experiences with seniors, CHS senior club vice president Jack Brewer says.

Along with the Apple partnership, Wired for Connections has tried to improve the technology provided to seniors, helping to raise money and sponsor the creation of the new technology center at the Carmel Foundation.

Currently there are four to five committed members, adds Boaro, who hopes to increase student participation and preserve the club for future years.

“The club this year has the great task of finding committed members of the younger generation to sustain the environment and purpose of the club for many more years,” Boaro says.

Brewer echoes Boaro’s sentiments: “We want to have more Apple events and get more kids participating to have a wider impact.”

The club meets every other Friday in computer science teacher Tom Clifford’s Room 6. A public announcement and bigger launch can be expected in October.

The club’s unique goal has not gone unnoticed as the group has caught the attention of the AARP.

“The club was invited to the AARP conference in Washington two years ago,” Boaro notes. “We received an AARP grant of over $1,000 for support and funds to improve training.”

“In a partnership with Robotics, where both groups aim to spread STEM throughout the community, we hope that we can enrich the youth and captivate the elderly,” Brewer says.

Boaro sums up the club as an important relationship between time periods: “It isn’t always about the learning process linked with using an iPad and an iPhone, but rather the importance of bridging a gap between those who need what we know, between the older generation and the contemporary one.”

-Evan Patel