Cardinals help elderly learn to use technology


Photo courtesy of Amahn Enayati

Seniors Jacob Werbner (left) and Amahn Enayati discuss a lesson plan for “Teen Tech Help,” the program they run to teach senior citizens how to use technology.

Lincoln senior and tech wiz Amahn Enayati is trying to bridge the gap in digital skills between generations. Enayati created a program three years ago called “Teen Tech Help,” in which teenagers help elderly people learn how to use technology.

Enayati first had the idea to start a program when he was 14 years old and his family bought his grandparents iPads. He realized it was a mistake, saying, “they didn’t know how to use it, they didn’t even know how to turn it on.”

This inspired Enayati to help out his grandparents with their new iPads and show them how to use apps like Facetime and iMessage.

“I’ve always been a techie and so I just took over,” he said. Enayati realized after helping his grandparents that there must be many more elders in the community that need help with technology.

Enayati decided to launch his campaign “Teen Tech Help,” and, on a whim, started going to retirement homes in the West Hills neighborhood every weekend. Enayati was pleasantly surprised by how many elders desired his help.

This led him to understand that “there is a hole somewhere in the education system for technology [for] senior citizens.”

The program was rewarding for Enayati too, saying, “It was gratifying to see the progress [the students] made.” He adds that the seniors “didn’t get the opportunity to be immersed in technology and now they are given that chance.”

With his success, Enayati decided to reach out to other kids from the Portland area to help him out. Along with Enayati, Lincoln senior Jacob Werbner and junior Kian Palmer have been involved with “Teen Tech Help”. Enayati has also reached out to juniors at Sunset and Westview High Schools to try and keep the program going in Portland once he goes off to college.

Enayati also talked about the many connections he has made to older people, saying, “I don’t have any grandparents that live in North America, so it’s almost like they are my grandparents.”

For many teens, technology comes easily because they have grown up with it. For elders, technology is brand new to them. “Teen Tech Help” is only a start to bridging the digital generation gap between elders and youth.