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Local teen volunteers to help seniors with technology

14-year-old Graham Bennett volunteers every Saturday morning to help seniors get one step closer to being tech-savvy, like him.

MINNEAPOLIS — These days, many teens are busy playing video games or scrolling on TikTok. Not too many are helping seniors in their free time. But one Minneapolis teen is changing that.

Inside the The Kenwood retirement community in Minneapolis, learning has no age limit.

Residents come down to the library quite often to make sure they're in the know... about what they don't know. Instead of bringing paper and pencils, however, they bring their laptops, tablets and phones.

Residents are learning tech basics to stay connected to those they love.

"I'd like to send a text to my daughter," said resident Sally Stinson. "How do I bring up her name and get a new text started?"

Their teacher is 14-year-old Graham Bennett. The tech wizard volunteers every Saturday morning to help seniors get one step closer to being tech-savvy, like him.

"How can I do all that on my desktop computer instead of on the phone?" asked resident Tony Morley.

Helping out is something Bennett has a lot of practice doing.

"My grandparents live in Florida," Bennett said. "So, whenever I'm up there, and they have any problems with technology, I help them. Or show them what they need to know."

Living only a block from Kenwood, Bennett thought to extend a helping hand there, too.

"It feels good when I can help people with their problems," said Bennett.

And the residents are thankful for that help.

"We're just glad he comes," said Stinson.

Many residents like Sally Howard are glad he's here because they didn't grow up with advanced technology.

"I started working in 1958, and you just had standard typewriters. So, I don't have a lot of confidence," said Howard. "Now that there's help available, I'm not afraid to try. It's never too late. I'm 87."

Never too late to learn something you don't know from a teacher turned-friend.

Bennett says he's helped more than 20 seniors with their tech questions.

"We are so lucky to have this talented young person who generously offers to help us with our computer problems or questions,” said Brandy Rhodes, activities director at The Kenwood. “He is a delightful young man who wants to be a doctor like his father. He has a very nice manner when working with our senior residents.”

When Bennett isn't at The Kenwood, he runs track and field, and works a weekend job at Sebastian Joe’s.

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