Tee­niors team­ing up with Wal­greens

Tech-savvy teens help seniors with gad­gets

Albuquerque Journal - - BUSINESS - Tee­nior Isa­iah Al­varez coaches Jan Stumpf in the use of her iPhone. The startup matches teens with seniors who need tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance. BY KEVIN ROBIN­SON-AVILA JOUR­NAL STAFF WRITER

Seniors hav­ing dif­fi­culty nav­i­gat­ing or op­er­at­ing their smart­phones, tablets or lap­tops can get free, one-on-one coach­ing from tech-savvy teenagers at a spe­cial event Tues­day at Wal­greens at Coors Boule­vard and Se­quoia Road.

Tee­niors, an Al­bu­querque startup that matches teens with seniors who need tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance, is part­ner­ing with Wal­greens for the one-time, fourhour event. Elderly peo­ple and the pub­lic in general can bring their com­put­ers and gad­gets to ask ques­tions and re­ceive di­rect tu­tor­ing, said Wal­greens lo­cal man­ager Rod Wal­ter.

“We want to help our seniors who want to learn tech­nol­ogy that can ben­e­fit their lives, so I am de­lighted to have Tee­niors pro­vide this ser­vice for us,” Wal­ter said.

The event co­in­cides with Wal­greens’ Seniors Day, held the first Tues­day of ev­ery month to pro­vide dis­counts on items with health-re­lated themes, such as di­a­betes. This time, seniors can get general as­sis­tance with their tech­nol­ogy, and if they’re in­ter­ested, they can also learn to use the Wal­greens’ app, which al­lows cus­tomers to man­age pre­scrip­tions, pur­chases and other things on­line.

For Tee­niors, it’s an op­por­tu­nity to pro­mote its ser­vices while po­ten­tially es­tab­lish­ing a last­ing partnershi­p with Wal­greens.

Be­len na­tive Tr­ish Lopez launched Tee­niors last year af­ter pitch­ing her idea at a startup week­end. The com­pany is gain­ing cus­tomers, with about 40 teens pro­vid­ing ser­vice at group events and through in­di­vid­ual coach­ing.

“We’ve held 13 group events since July, and we’ve pro­vided well over 200 per­sonal coach­ing ses­sions,” Lopez said.

In­di­vid­ual coach­ing starts at $39.95 an hour, with teens re­ceiv­ing $15 per hour from those fees. The com­pany gen­er­ally charges $200 per hour for group events, but it’s spon­sor­ing this first

Wal­greens event on a vol­un­tary ba­sis, Lopez said.

Cor­rales re­tiree Lynn Whee­lan, 74, said Tee­niors of­fered an ideal so­lu­tion for com­puter prob­lems.

“It was worth a mil­lion dol­lars to me,” Whee­lan said. “I be­lieve there’s a huge mar­ket out there for Tee­niors and for peo­ple like me. The kids need jobs and we need help, and Tee­niors con­nects us up.”

The Wal­greens event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., is on a walk-in, first-come-first-served ba­sis. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.tee­niors.com, or call 505-600-1297.

COURTESY OF TEE­NIORS

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