LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

Trained Teens Help Seniors with Technology

Generation Connect brings together teens with seasoned adults for engagement, enhancement, and entertainment services. During a seven-session program, we connect local high schoolers with older adults to offer tech support, online gaming, and common interest bonding. In exchange, our teens receive mentorship and soft skills training. Additionally, as an approved worksite with the American Jobs Center of California (AJCC), teens can qualify to receive compensation ($16.90/hr) through Youth@Work and other similar youth employment programs.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Youth Economic Advancement (sponsored by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation)

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Youth needing economic advancement opportunities refers to the challenges faced by young people who lack access to sufficient offerings for economic progress and upward mobility. It includes factors that hinder young people from acquiring the necessary skills, resources, and experiences to access and secure stable employment and achieve long-term career goals. A lack of job opportunities tailored to the needs, over-burdened schedules, and aspirations of young people can restrict their ability to enter the workforce. Additionally, societal barriers such as discrimination and bias can further marginalize certain youth which has been exacerbated by the pandemic. The problem not only affects the current financial well-being of young individuals but also hampers their future overall economic growth and social development. If not addressed, the lack of economic advancement opportunities can lead to increased income inequality, and a lack of diversity and innovation in the workforce.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Rooted in the old adage, "You can't give without receiving," I propose the Generation Connect program for grant consideration in the Youth Economic Advancement category. Generation Connect is a virtual program bringing together teens with seasoned adults for engagement, enhancement, and entertainment services. We connect local high schoolers with older (background-checked) adults to offer free tech support, online gaming, and common interest bonding during a seven-session program featuring the following topics: -Ice Breakers -Tech Support, Pt. 1 (computer) -Tech Support, Pt. 2 (smartphone) -Online Games -Discovery Interview -Golden Nuggets -Battle of the Ages Gaming Tournament As a result of intergenerational connections, teens receive mentorship, soft skills training, and community service hours, which can all help with college applications and other post-high school options. Additionally, prior to meeting with seasoned adults, teens receive training to prepare them for their virtual encounters. Training modules include: -Empathy & Active Listening -Teaching Tech to Senior Adults -Interviewing Techniques -K.A.I.R. Methodology for teen empowerment -Work Permit Preparation -Intro to Entrepreneurship -Other Soft Skills: Leadership, Problem-solving, Communication Additionally, we enroll teens in local work source programs, allowing them to receive compensation for their services. By design, the virtual program allows teens to conveniently connect from anywhere.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

The Generation Connect program offers both short-term and long-term community effects on youth's economic opportunities. It equips youth with immediate skills, networks, and motivation while also influencing their long-term educational attainment, career choices, entrepreneurial pursuits, and community leadership, all of which contribute to a community's economic advancement. Short-term effects: -Community Svc. Hours and Compensation. Youth can earn service hours, plus $16.90 per hour for their participation. -Increased confidence and motivation: Positive interactions with older adults instill a sense of purpose and belief in themselves, encouraging youth to pursue higher education and career goals. Long-term community effects: -Local engagement: Encourages youth to take on leadership roles, contributing to the economic development of their communities. -Seasoned adults are independent longer and better able to utilize technology to improve their quality of life.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

As an existing program that has successfully contracted with the Los Angeles County Office of Education, City of Inglewood, City of Azusa, City of Claremont, and others, Generation Connect uses a combination of surveys and interviews to measure its impact. We use a modified version of the WHO-5, a self-reported questionnaire developed by the World Health Organization used to measure subjective and psychological well-being, and consists of just five questions. This survey is given at the beginning and end of each program to measure the overall effectiveness of the program and its perceived value on individual participants. A session evaluation reviews each individual session and provides immediate feedback. In addition, we record teens and seasoned adults after their one-on-one sessions which captures their immediate reaction. These combinations of tools allow for an accurate and ongoing evaluation of the program, and permit transparency as well as ease of monthly reporting.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 480

Indirect Impact: 4,800