On this episode of Connected Nation, we talk with a group of teenagers who are helping adults in their community learn the digital skills they need to access important resources and opportunities.
Find out how the teens who are part of the Adelante Hispanic Achievers are approaching this work; why it’s become a critical need within immigrant populations; and how youth in YOUR area can bring the program to the community to both help local adults AND themselves.
Adelante Hispanic Achievers website
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Jessica Denson, Host (00:04):
This is Connected Nation, an award-winning podcast focused on all things broadband from closing the digital divide to improving your internet speeds. We talk technology topics that impact all of us, our families, and our neighborhoods.
On today's podcast, we talk with a group of teenagers who are helping adults in their community learn the digital skills they need to access important resources and opportunities.
Find out how the teens who are part of the Adelante Hispanic Achievers are approaching this work, why it's become a critical need within immigrant populations, and how youth in your area can bring the program to the community to both help local adults and themselves.
I'm Jessica Denson and this is Connected Nation.
natural sound - students teaching adults (00:45):
Jessica Denson, Host (00:58):
I'm here at the Alane Hispanic Achiever Center in the Americana Community Center located in Louisville, Kentucky. Um, we are in Derby season right now. It's a little crazy, but we have two young ladies with us today, Celeste and Audrey, who are taking part in teens Teach Check powered by at and t, which is a program to help adults learn digital skills. Um, what I understand that each of the, you guys have different stations and you're each teaching different things. So what are you teaching here?
Audrey, Teens Teach Tech participant (01:29):
Um, well we're actually both teaching mobile devices. Basics. Yeah.
Jessica Denson, Host (01:33):
And uh, Celeste,
Celeste, Teens Teach Tech participant (01:36):
Uh, well from the people that I've had, I taught him how to change his wallpaper and I'm teaching them like basic stuff like how to screenshot and setting wise, uh, things that they need help with.
Jessica Denson, Host (01:48):
So is it kind of surprising that some of the older adults don't know how to use some, uh, telephone mobile devices or is that normal you think?
Audrey, Teens Teach Tech participant (01:57):
Um, well, someone actually didn't know that you could change their phone to a military time, which is like, instead of one, I mean from 12, like 24 hours. So I thought that was surprising. Um, so yeah,
Jessica Denson, Host (02:08):
I think you're actually talking about one of our team members, right? Yeah.
Audrey, Teens Teach Tech participant (02:11):
Jessica Denson, Host (02:13):
And she showed me, she's like, the young ladies are there, just showed me that she should talk to them. So what, what have you taught some people, Celeste?
Celeste, Teens Teach Tech participant (02:19):
Uh, well I taught one of the girls, um, how to change her wallpaper and how to customize it into like different colors and then that's what I've been teaching so far.
Jessica Denson, Host (02:29):
Audrey, what are some of the things that you are showing people how to use?
Audrey, Teens Teach Tech participant (02:34):
Um, well also the settings, but also the screen time for kids and how to, um, utilize the screen time for themselves as well. Like if you have work at five in the morning and you don't want to use your phone or like using your phone as a problem, you can set a downtime for yourself as well.
Jessica Denson, Host (02:47):
So why do you think it's important to get, uh, adults involved in understanding how to use their phones better, understanding how to use internet and computers better, that type of thing? We'll go with you first. Celeste?
Celeste, Teens Teach Tech participant (03:01):
Um, I think it's important because like, um, a lot of people have family in different states. Like some people have family in Mexico or Cuba or different places, and then a lot of us are over here. So I think it's important to like, you know, FaceTiming catch up with them and things like that. So that's why I think it's important.
Jessica Denson, Host (03:17):
Yeah. One, uh, gentleman earlier pointed out that it used to cost like $150 to clock to call back home and now it's a little more accessible. So it is. Do you feel the same as lest Audrey?
Audrey, Teens Teach Tech participant (03:28):
Yes, I feel the same, but also technology's not going away. It's just gonna keep evolving. And so learning about the basics right now is essential for the future.
Jessica Denson, Host (03:37):
So tell me a little bit about each of you. So, uh, we'll start with you Audrey. Where's your family from and how long have you been here? What school? What grade are you in, in school?
Audrey, Teens Teach Tech participant (03:46):
Um, well my family's from Mexico, but I was born here. I go to Fair Dove and I'm a junior and I'm a part of their Cambridge program,
Jessica Denson, Host (03:53):
So. And, uh, do you have any idea what you wanna do when you graduate yet?
Audrey, Teens Teach Tech participant (03:57):
Well, I know what I wanna do for like, for my career, for the rest of my life I wanna become an anes theologist. Uh, so I plan on studying a lot.
Jessica Denson, Host (04:05):
Yeah, we want good study years for people to <laugh> to sleep for surgery. And what about use Celest? Tell me a little bit about your family and how long you've been here and what grade you're in.
Celeste, Teens Teach Tech participant (04:13):
Um, well my family's from Mexico and I was born here, uh, and I'm in ninth grade and I go to Lu High School and I wanna be an engineer when I grow up.
Jessica Denson, Host (04:24):
Oh, in engineering. So you like math?
Celeste, Teens Teach Tech participant (04:27):
Um, eh, kind of, I don't know, like that's just what the basic, what I want right now. At least
Jessica Denson, Host (04:32):
Understand. And so, are you two best friends? I saw you both over here chatting and talking to each other. My sisters.
Celeste, Teens Teach Tech participant (04:38):
Oh, your sisters. Your
Jessica Denson, Host (04:39):
Sisters. Oh, so you hid that from me. And for <laugh>.
Celeste, Teens Teach Tech participant (04:42):
Jessica Denson, Host (04:44):
Have the adults today been pretty open to learning these new skills?
Celeste, Teens Teach Tech participant (04:48):
Yeah. Yeah. They were, they, they learn something
Audrey, Teens Teach Tech participant (04:51):
Even like if they thought that they knew what we were gonna teach them, they learn more in depth of how to do certain things. So.
Jessica Denson, Host (04:57):
So you've been using computers and phones since you were little, so these are just, this comes second nature to you, right? Is it difficult to figure out, you know, how I'm gonna teach somebody to do something that I do every day? That's easy. <laugh>,
Audrey, Teens Teach Tech participant (05:11):
Um, in a way, yeah, but I'm also a tutor and translator at school, so it just comes, it's really not easy, but it becomes, it's easier for me to do it cause I'm, I'm already used to translating and tutoring at the same time.
Celeste, Teens Teach Tech participant (05:23):
Yeah, I think it's, yeah,
Jessica Denson, Host (05:25):
This become pretty second nature. Yeah. What would you want other teenagers to know about teens teach tech and it bringing it to their community? What is it a good idea? Is it, is it been helpful? You think it's a good program?
Audrey, Teens Teach Tech participant (05:39):
I think it's a good program, especially because you, like, you're not having, they, they don't ask a lot of you just to teach the community. And not only that, like you could, um, you can gain stuff from it as well. So I think it's a good program.
Celeste, Teens Teach Tech participant (05:53):
Um, yeah, I personally think that's a good program cuz it's like teaching us stuff too. Like, I don't know, like I feel like it is a good prayer woman. You get to learn different things and you get to teach people, you know, so
Audrey, Teens Teach Tech participant (06:03):
Jessica Denson, Host (06:04):
Yeah. And what would you teach me? Show me, uh, something that you would do, um, like on the, on your phone here. Just talk me through some piece. Well,
Audrey, Teens Teach Tech participant (06:13):
If you have kids,
Jessica Denson, Host (06:14):
No, I have no kids. <laugh>. Well,
Celeste, Teens Teach Tech participant (06:16):
Audrey, Teens Teach Tech participant (06:16):
If you have nieces or nephews, um, you could set up screen time for them, you know, right here it shows how long you're on the phone. You can press downtime, app limits, like if you don't want them on social media a lot, because social media is a big thing right now. You can limit their time to like an hour or two a day.
Jessica Denson, Host (06:34):
Um, and a lot of parents don't know
Audrey, Teens Teach Tech participant (06:36):
That yet. Yeah, exactly. And if you just go to settings and search up screen time or app limits, you can set it up there. You can create a passcode that only you'll be, um, have access to rather than the kids.
Jessica Denson, Host (06:47):
All right. Um, one last question. Uh, why do you think Atlante is such a great place to be?
Celeste, Teens Teach Tech participant (06:56):
You wanna start? Um, I think it's such a great place to be because it gives you like a lot of opportunities that you don't think that you would regularly have. Like last weekend we went to the University of Kentucky and I personally learned a lot of things about the university and I think they give you a lot of information when you don't know a lot of things since, especially if you're a first gen or things like that.
Audrey, Teens Teach Tech participant (07:17):
Um, I've been a part of the program since I was in sixth grade, which is the earliest you can be admitted into it. And I've seen how the program has changed and it has helped me a lot. Like it helps, it supports me in ways my parents can't, can't, because, you know, they're immigrants and so like, I was exposed to like, to colleges, universities, and so back then I didn't see that in my future. And now I do things ante.
Jessica Denson, Host (07:39):
I am with Margarita Macay, who is the board president for the organization. Welcome. Thank you. Uh, tell me a little bit about this, what Adante Alante does, why it's important to the Hispanic community or the Latinx, is that what we're saying now? Latinx? Should I say it that way? Yeah, both. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Okay. Both. Um, tell us, tell us why it's so important to have organizations like this rooted in different communities around the country.
Margarita McAtee, Board Pres., Adelante (08:04):
Oh, they're very important. Um, this organization was founded probably about in 2005. Our main goal is to provide educational support and mentorship enrichment programs for students. Majority of our students are not documented. A lot of 'em are first generation here to the US along with their parents. So our goal is to give them that opportunity, that educational opportunities. For some reason, some families leave their countries for education, better education, better job opportunities, uh, and right now this organization is the only one that we know of here in the state of Kentucky. Um, so our goal is to provide those services to make sure those students have those opportunities to gain that educational, that really will put them in a better position, uh, long term and be better citizens for our country and our community.
Jessica Denson, Host (09:02):
As board president, this must be a passion project for you, is that right? Did you grow up here? Are you from outta the country as well, or? No,
Margarita McAtee, Board Pres., Adelante (09:09):
I actually was born and raised in Chicago, so I kind of understand Adelante. Uh, there was an organization in Chicago called casa, and that organization kind of gave me these type of opportunities that we're trying to give our students. So for me it's giving back to my community and making sure those students have those opportunities. Uh, our goal is to have a hundred percent graduation rate from high school, uh, which we've accomplished. Uh, we have a hundred percent of our students that go through the program, go to college. Um, and I would say probably 75% receive full scholarships, uh, to the university. So we have partnerships, allies, uh, with several universities or colleges within community, within the community within Kentucky. And I think we have partnership over with one college over in Indiana as well too.
Jessica Denson, Host (10:07):
I was talking to several of the students and they wanna do everything from uh, music therapy to engineering, to dental hygienists. Uh, it's a wide range. And uh, do you think they would understand that those were even opportunities that they could pursue before?
Margarita McAtee, Board Pres., Adelante (10:22):
I think, I think they, they know they can, but I think sometimes too, the educational system doesn't have the support, um, to give some of these students that come from what I call bilingual families. You know, some of 'em were born here in the us some students are born from outside this country. So when we get students, especially right now, we have a family that's been here in the US for the last six months. Um, so we try to give them those opportunities to say you can't achieve. And that's the reason why we do a lot of mentoring, uh, opportunities for them to kind of see what's out there. And that's the reason why we do a lot of, um, professional, what I call professional workshops. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, development kind of see. And so that way they have an opportunity to meet and learn about other Hispanics that are actually living their dreams and doing some of those roles right now. So I think that's a benefit and an opportunity for these students to take that and say, I can do that as well too.
Jessica Denson, Host (11:26):
And today you're, uh, the kids are doing a program with teens Teach Tech powered by at and t, uh, that's the official name and it, they are working with US Connected Nation on this program. But why do you think it's important to also make sure that we include the Hispanic community and digital skill, skills, learning and literacy? The kids have already told me that they've really enjoyed teaching a couple of the adults, but why is it so important?
Margarita McAtee, Board Pres., Adelante (11:50):
I think technology is here to stay. Uh, I think when you see and you go, um, to businesses or in your home, everybody's using some type of technology can be a computer, iPad, or iPhone. Um, so there's, I think to be able to be able to compete in the industries that we're in, and it doesn't matter from medical to, um, food services or whatever your passion is, you're using some type of technology to connect with your customers, even to connect with your customer base. So it's an opportunity for everybody to learn. Um, so these, these kind of sessions give our students an opportunity to have that even before they go to college. Because when you go to college, I find students that have never had, don't know, aren't, um, technology savvy, but when they get to college, they're like, whoa, I didn't know you could do all this. So I think as adults we, and it's an opportunity for us to continue learning
Jessica Denson, Host (12:50):
And the kids seem to enjoy teaching adults something for once. <laugh>.
Margarita McAtee, Board Pres., Adelante (12:53):
Yes. Yeah. Just listening to some of those students, I was like, whoa, you know? Yeah. I constantly, uh, learn. Um, because technology is advanced so quickly and it does every single day there's a new tool that you can use for technology. So it's great to see our students have this opportunity.
Jessica Denson, Host (13:12):
And, um, just to sum up, what would you hope for each of these kids that come through this program to have for their lives?
Margarita McAtee, Board Pres., Adelante (13:19):
To be able to continue to dream and pursue those opportunities and not to have anybody say that you cannot do it, that you believe in yourself and that you're able to achieve those
Jessica Denson, Host (13:32):
Goals. Fantastic. Thank you so much, margarita. Thank you. I am with Daniella Diaz. Um, and you are, what year are you at school?
Daniela, Teens Teach Tech participant (13:43):
I'm a senior at Ballard High School.
Jessica Denson, Host (13:45):
And tell me why this was important to do today.
Daniela, Teens Teach Tech participant (13:48):
Well, it's important for me because I know like my parents always ask me, you know, about different types of things or like on their phone, if they have something or they wanna look up something or just have questions on their phone, they're always asking me.
So I think it's really important because a lot of people just don't know about like internet basics or how to manage a computer or what to do on their phone. You know, this is really new technology and it's always up upgrading. So I think it's like pretty unique and pretty cool that like, certain amount of people like, no, and like it's good spread, spread it around,
Jessica Denson, Host (14:25):
You know. And, um, where is your family from? You've and how long have you lived in Louisville?
Daniela, Teens Teach Tech participant (14:29):
Well, I've lived here my whole life. I'm from here, but my parents are from Mexico.
Jessica Denson, Host (14:34):
Mexico. And do you have any brothers and sisters? Yes,
Daniela, Teens Teach Tech participant (14:37):
Two little sisters.
Jessica Denson, Host (14:38):
Two little sisters. And uh, so you, you, you're bilingual, I take it, right? Spanish and English. Yes. How difficult is it for someone who um, maybe has never been exposed to technology or doesn't use it regularly to try to navigate their role right now?
Daniela, Teens Teach Tech participant (14:54):
Well, technology is literally everywhere. You need it for everything and everywhere, you know, it's right in front of your faces. I think it's, wait, what was the question again?
Jessica Denson, Host (15:05):
You can say it again. Just how difficult is it if you don't know the technology?
Daniela, Teens Teach Tech participant (15:09):
Oh, how difficult. I think it's pretty difficult because like I said, like, um, technology is literally everywhere. Um, it's something new to this, well, it's not really new, it's really like, just like upgrading every single day, you know, like there's different type of things. So I think it's really difficult if somebody doesn't really know anything because like say they wanna get to a location and they don't know there's Google Maps and they probably don't even know. So like, I think it's like really useful too as well, you
Jessica Denson, Host (15:38):
Know? And so today with teens teach Tech, you all are, you've decided to break it down. So each of you are teaching different things, right? Right. Tell me a little bit about what you are showing people today.
Daniela, Teens Teach Tech participant (15:50):
Today. Well, my main course is internet basics, so I'll be showing them how to sign in to their Google account. If they have a Google account, you know, I will be showing them how to like open a browser or close a browser, get into, like I said, the Google account so they can manage their email or Google Maps. Um, how to like, just use the internet safely because there, there are like a lot of scams or like hackers, you have to be really careful with it. Um, or just how to avoid any viruses, you know, just all the basics, you know, so they know how to manage other things, you
Jessica Denson, Host (16:29):
Know. And, um, how is important is our groups like Alon to the Hispanic community? Has it, is it important to have these types of groups that can provide resources?
Daniela, Teens Teach Tech participant (16:41):
I, me personally, I think it is because,
You know, we're all like, well I'm a first generation without having, I probably don't even think I would know how to like, probably fill out FSA or like, um, have like scholarship opportunities or just how to even apply for college. You know, like I don't think a lot of like schools focus on like college applications.
But Adelante, they really did help me. Like, like they provided me since like the beginning of like, when I started learning. I remember like they would always, we would have like little college visits like the beginning of freshman year. I would like go to different college visits and see like different opportunities in different colleges or just see colleges around like our little, like the Louisville area, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I just think it's really helpful.
Jessica Denson, Host (17:31):
Do you know what you want to do when you graduate high school?
Daniela, Teens Teach Tech participant (17:34):
Yeah. I'm going into the University of Louisville and I'm gonna major in dental hygienist, so I'm in the fall. I'm gonna, I'm going to pre-dental.
Jessica Denson, Host (17:44):
Wow. That's a tough, that's a tough field. That's awesome. Yeah. Yeah. So how cool is it that something that teens, teenagers can teach older adults?
Daniela, Teens Teach Tech participant (17:53):
I think it's really cool. I mean, um, the older generation probably doesn't even know a lot of like technology since this is probably new to them, but not new to us since we grew up with like a television or like a phone in our hand, you know? Um, but I think it's really cool cuz you know, we <laugh> we know a little more than them, you know, on something, you know? So
Jessica Denson, Host (18:18):
That's fun to switch
Daniela, Teens Teach Tech participant (18:19):
The Yeah, it's fun. Switch around.
Jessica Denson, Host (18:21):
Yeah. Yeah. And, um, so far, ha have you had fun teaching today?
Daniela, Teens Teach Tech participant (18:25):
Yeah, I have. I mean, <laugh> one, one of my, um, per the person I taught, they didn't know like one little thing that I showed them about and it kind of made me feel like, oh really? Like, you know, like it surprised me cuz I know, but I, it was like cool that they didn't know and I was like, oh, well at least I taught them something, you know? It made me feel good. <laugh>.
Jessica Denson, Host (18:46):
And what do you think, do you think other groups should do this across the country?
Daniela, Teens Teach Tech participant (18:50):
I think so. I think it would be really cool. I know some people are probably scared or just a little intimidated by it, but at the end of the day, like a lot of people would probably need the help or find this useful.
Jessica Denson, Host (19:04):
The Teens Teach Tech program can be offered within any community in the US through Connected Nation at no cost ---all things to a contribution from AT&T
Even better, the teenagers who take part can earn money while helping adults in their community learn those important digital skills to learn more.
To start your Own Teens Teach Tech program in your area, head to connected nation.org/teens, teach Tech or find us on teens, teach Tech on Instagram. I've included links to each in the description of this podcast.
I'm Jessica Denson. Thanks for listening to Connect to Nation. If you like our show and wanna know more about us, head to connect to nation.org or look for the latest episodes on iTunes, iHeartRadio, Google Podcast, Pandora, or Spotify.