ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Seniors having difficulty navigating or operating their smart phones, tablets or laptops can get free, one-on-one coaching from tech-savvy teenagers at a special event Tuesday at the West Side 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, four-hour 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 related to 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.