LIVINGSTON, NJ — For the first time since February, students involved in the Techie Teen Tutors Club (TTTC) at Livingston High School (LHS) recently resumed their mission to help senior citizens learn about technology by meeting with them virtually for a tutorial of the Zoom Video Communications platform.
According to Liliana Branquinho, Supervisor of Senior & Adult Enrichment and Special Events for the Township of Livingston, having a basic knowledge of this particular technology has become especially vital for senior citizens over the last several months as it became one of the primary modes of communication as a result of the pandemic.
Founded in 2013 by then-sophomore Ben Boxer, the TTTC typically meets with seniors on the third Friday of each month at the Livingston Public Library, where senior citizens are invited to bring in and ask questions about their devices. Although it had been put on hold for safety purposes, the ongoing program has been a popular one for many years and one that those involved are determined to keep alive.
“We know during these COVID times, Zoom has been the platform most used, and we want to make sure seniors can stay connected,” said Branquinho. “So for now, the program will focus strictly on Zoom.”
Boxer, currently a senior studying business administration at Carnegie Melon University, explained that the idea for TTTC originated from his grandparents, who found his technological assistance so useful that they began “sharing [his] number with their senior friends” who also needed help with their devices.
Hearing from all of those seniors was the impetus that motivated Boxer to start the Techie Teen Tutors volunteer service club.
“It started with one-on-one tutoring, but as the club progressed, we started doing group sessions as well,” said Boxer. “We taught them everything and anything technology—from how to make a Google search or FaceTime family, to setting up a new Kindle or accessing a locked email account.”
According to Boxer, the TTTC membership doubled from the time he started it to the time he graduated, starting with only a small handful of student tutors that quickly became more than a dozen.
Although some sessions only attract a few participants, Boxer noted that others attract more than two-dozen senior citizens who are eager to learn. He also recalled how appreciative the seniors were of the tutors’ willingness to assist them—especially those whose grandchildren did not have the patience.
“I’m really glad to see Techie Teen Tutors has continued to survive and thrive,” said Boxer, who still occasionally receives calls from seniors with tech questions to this day. “I think it’s a really important resource for many of these seniors, especially now when technology has become many people’s primary way of connecting with family and loved ones.”
Branquinho, who is thrilled to finally be able to resume this program, stated that it is especially important “during these social isolation times” for Livingston’s seniors to stay connected.
“We are very excited to be working with the LHS Techie Teen Tutors again,” she said. “After a long hiatus due to the pandemic, we hope we can continue our ‘Keeping Up with Technology’ program, even if it means doing it virtually.”
To learn more about this program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or check the township website for upcoming sessions.
Don’t miss important news in Livingston. Click HERE to subscribe for free, or follow us on Facebook and on Twitter at @LivingstonTAP.
Are you a business owner looking to reach our audience? Please reach out to us at email@example.com for information about our digital marketing packages.