Teens help senior citizens with their technological needs

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 7:32 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - As part of United Way of Southwest Louisiana’s “Summer of Service,” teen volunteers hosted a “tech-day” at the Lake Charles Senior Center.

Technology can cause a lot of headaches from time to time, but some teens in the area are helping relieve some of that headache in the community. Volunteers spent the day helping senior citizens with their technological needs since it can often favor the young and cause problems for some seniors.

“They are here to assist them if they’re having a problem on their smartphone or if they want to set up a Facebook account or they just bought a new iPad, and they don’t know how to do things on there. Different problems that we all have on our iPhone that you ask a teenager to help you with - that’s what they’ll do.” Tami Chrisop with United Way of Southwest Louisiana said.

Chrisop said that teens are the ones who really know how to use the technology since most have grown up with it.

“I’ve had technology almost my entire life,” volunteer Xavier Jackson said.

Jackson is a freshman at Washington Marion High School, he said helping out the seniors has been a heartwarming experience.

“And we as seniors, we appreciate them coming out and helping us because we need the help,” Shauna Spencer with the Calcasieu Council on Aging said. ”Everybody needs some help with their phones. Everyday, you know what I’m saying, there’s different gadgets and stuff that’s coming out. So, we are definitely in need of having help with our phones, and I’m one of them. I definitely need help with my phone.”

Spencer works to address the needs of senior citizens, and one of those needs is the understanding of technology.

Becky Ainsworth with United Way says recognizing that need is why “Summer of Service” is all about helping senior citizens.

“They’ve done so much for us as we grew up and as roles begin to change and the help that they gave us when we were younger. It’s fun to be able to help them out and make them feel more comfortable in something that makes people, even like me, you know, a little technically challenged sometimes feel more comfortable about using our phones and technology,” Ainsworth said.

Another teen volunteer Christopher Stills, an 11th grader at Barbe Hight School, said helping senior citizens allows the community to prosper.

“Hopefully, when I get older, somebody younger will help me the same way. And I’ll thank them and feel gratitude.”

As of now, the “Summer of Service” doesn’t have their next project lined up, but they said they will be updating their website when they do.

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