Posted: January 18, 2022
On a chilly Saturday afternoon in January, eight students from Cherry Creek High School gathered at the Holly Creek Life Plan Community in Centennial with a mission – help residents trouble-shoot and tackle their tech issues.
The students are volunteers for the Colorado-based nonprofit Generation Tech, a community service-based organization bridging the generational divide through student-led volunteer programs that engage and educate Denver Metro older adults on technology.
“We help residents stay connected to family, friends and each other through technology,” said volunteer Brody Davidow, a junior at Cherry Creek High School. “The tech issues we assist Holly Creek residents with are all over the board, from smart phone, tablet, laptop/desktop issues to TV streaming services to email and printer issues and more.”
According to Davidow, who is in his first-year volunteering for Generation Tech, approximately five to 10 volunteers visit the retirement community every Saturday during the school year to work one-on-one with residents.
“Part of what we do is problem solve tech issues, but we also help them better utilize the technologies they already possess to do the things they love like travel, attend events at the DCPA, shop online or book reservations at their favorite restaurant,” added Davidow.
Resident Elaine Walsh’s experience is a great example. Tech training recently helped her plan a trip to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Walsh received a new iPhone in March of this 2021 and worked with volunteers every week for a couple months to understand all the features on her new phone. She also downloaded and was trained on applications to help her book hotel and flight reservations.
“My Albuquerque balloon adventure went off without a hitch thanks the training I got from the Generation Tech volunteers,” exclaimed a happy Walsh.
Sally and Dean Lund, who have called Holly Creek home for the last five years after selling their southeast Denver house near Cherry Hills, looked to the volunteers to help them streamline the process of emailing their annual New Year’s letter.
With two daughters in Centennial, one son on the East Coast, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, among other family members and friends, the Lunds had a considerably large group to mail their New Year’s letter. Davidow, along with volunteer trainees Sanskriti Nepal and Naseem Manshadi, went to Lund’s apartment and in about 45 minutes, had Sally spreading New Year’s cheer to everyone quicker than she ever had before.
“These volunteers are so patient and informative, and it saves me from having to bother my children or grandchildren with technical issues,” explained Sally. “I appreciate them taking the time to walk me through each step, and I know everyone at Holly Creek has only good things to say about their experiences with these remarkable young women and men.”
When asked why they volunteer for Generation Tech, trainees Nepal and Manshadi were eager to share. “I aspire to go into the medical profession, and I know in order to help others, you have to be a good communicator,” said Nepal. “Interacting with Holly Creek residents helps me with communication skills and makes me a better listener. Plus, the residents are fun to be around!”
Manshadi responded, “I’ve been volunteering with my mother since I was seven, so helping others is in my DNA. I already assist my grandparents with computer issues, so I thought I could help Holly Creek residents as well. It’s like having multiple sets of grandparents.”