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Tech-savvy teens providing technology support to older adults at retirement facility

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Posted at 11:44 AM, Nov 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-15 17:05:38-05

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (KMGH) — Every week, a group of teens from Cherry Creek High School in Colorado come together to help older adults with anything technology-related at the Holly Creek Retirement Community.

The volunteers are from the group Generation Technology, a nonprofit created by students several years ago.

Nathan Sunker, who attends Cherry Creek High School, is now the group's CEO. He said the group offers a wide variety of support.

"Communication through email or FaceTime, so that people can stay in touch with their relatives. Printers are a big issue that we see a lot. Really anything you can think of. From easy problems, like plugging something in, to more complicated stuff, where it takes us like an hour-and-a-half," Sunker said.

With the holidays around the corner, the group is helping residents stay connected with loved ones.

"A lot of people don't live close to their family, and it's a really big deal to have. So being able to set up video communication and bring people who might live in different states closer together around the holidays is really important," Sunker said.

The teens also help by giving the adults tips for preventing scams.

"A lot of the times we'll see people get like strange calls that they don't recognize, and we can give them pointers and like how to recognize those kinds of things," he said.

It's something residents like Sandy Washington are thankful for.

"I think we all struggle with technology. I do," Washington said. "I have trouble with technology. And I think a lot of other residents here do too, you know, at our age."

Whether the teens are helping with printer issues or teaching them about new apps on their phones, it's also helping form strong intergenerational connections.

"What we do in Generation Tech is we bring these two groups together, that a lot of the time don't really have much natural communication, to kind of help a fix the tech problems, but more importantly, create a different bond," Sunker said.

For Washington, seeing the students every week is something she looks forward to.

"We really appreciate having these Cherry Creek High School kids come," she said. "I always am anxious to hear about their college interests and where they're going to go to college, and what they're thinking of majoring in and where they're applying. Things like that. I feel they’re family. Just like my own kids or grandkids. It's very nice."

This story was originally reported Kristian Lopez on denver7.com.