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Graham Bennett, 14, teaches Jane Katz, left, how to use her laptop as Birgit Andersen, right, awaits her turn. Bennet is a tech wizard who comes to The Kenwood Retirement Community once a week to help residents with their phones, iPads, laptops, and computers.

Local teen volunteers to help seniors with technology

Graham Bennett, 14, is a tech wizard who comes to The Kenwood Retirement Community once a week to help residents with their phones, iPads, laptops, and computers. His path to the Kenwood was a natural outgrowth of helping his grandparents in Florida who had various tech difficulties common to people who did not grow up in the computer age.

From helping his grandparents, Graham got the idea to help older adults who live at The Kenwood which is near his home and school. He spoke to Brandy Rhodes, Kenwood’s activities director, who thought it would be a wonderful inter-generational experience.

“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.”

Graham Bennett, 14, teaches Riki Jursik, right, how to use her laptop.

Graham receives a great deal of satisfaction from his volunteering.

“We have great conversations,” Graham said. “The residents talk about their grandchildren and their own childhoods. I always feel good after my volunteer day. They are so appreciative of my help, especially regarding communication with their family members.”

According to Graham, he fixes and/or teaches. Most Kenwood residents just want a problem fixed, but about half also want to learn how to solve problems themselves. Graham is happy to do either.

He is a busy young man, He is a freshman at the Blake School, which is a private college preparatory day school established in 1900 in Minneapolis. He participates in track and field and has a weekend job scooping ice cream at Sabastian Joe’s where he is also a barista. Building with wood and fishing are strong passions as well.

“Graham has always been a go-getter,” said his mother, Vickie Bennett. “He finds his own way and pursues his passions, and he appreciates the opportunity to help other people. He has always been kind and thoughtful to his three younger brothers.” 

The Kenwood Senior Living is a rental retirement community which provides independent living and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

For more information, call 612-374-8100.