Need to ring or zoom? Edmonds teenager comes to the rescue

EDMONDS – There’s someone out there to save the day for baby boomers who can’t connect their Ring doorbells or bring their tablets to Zoom.

Jack Rice to the rescue.

What’s up with this?

Jack, 17, is a kid from Edmonds-Woodway High School who helps seniors with technology.

He gives free sessions at senior centers, over the phone, and even does home visits – at no cost.

It will show you how to set up devices, send text, share photos, surf the net, whatever you need. Another of his “Seniors’ Guide to Smartphones 101” presentations is coming soon to the Edmonds Waterfront Center.

I put him to the test: he came to my house and solved my digital distress. Thanks to Jack, I can see who’s at the door on my smartphone and my smart fridge.

“It’s a simple thing, just to be a kid and grow up with technology,” he said.

At 13, Jack started the association Bridge, which stands for Bridging Roads into Different Generations.

Jack Rice (left) gives his grandmother Carolyn Rice a tutorial on her new tablet. (Kevin Clark / The Messenger)

“After spending a lot of time over the summer with my grandparents, I realized that they needed a lot of help with the technology,” he said.

“I corrected my grandfather’s email and helped him determine if an email was a scam or not. I helped my grandmother install a Kindle. I installed their printer. It was easy for me to help my grandparents and make their life easier and I was able to get closer to them.

He didn’t stop there.

“I recognized that there is definitely a technological gap between the younger and older generations,” he said. “I had the idea to extend my services to a wider audience. ”

A few friends are also volunteering, and he hopes to recruit more.

Jack uses the money he earns from teaching reading and English to pay for gasoline. The tall, red-haired teenager also makes time to play basketball for a traveling team.

Jack Rice (left) gives his grandmother Carolyn Rice a tutorial on her new tablet.  (Kevin Clark / The Messenger)

Jack Rice (left) gives his grandmother Carolyn Rice a tutorial on her new tablet. (Kevin Clark / The Messenger)

He has helped the Edmonds Waterfront Center with a Verdant Health tablet program to equip seniors with access to telehealth.

“It was cool to see people who had never used a device before changing their lives with one,” Jack said. “The most important thing during the pandemic has been Zooming for talking to friends and family, and for health visits. ”

Center CEO Daniel Johnson said the elderly needed technical assistance.

“Jack is a hero around here,” Johnson said. “He is charming, knowledgeable and exceptionally patient. ”

Jack said it was mutual.

“I like to learn from the elderly,” he said. “They have a lot of wisdom to share with me and I love getting to know them. I have the impression of getting something out of it. ”

The learning curve for the elderly is not that steep.

“You get better with practice,” said Jack.

He trained a 95-year-old woman to use her first smartphone.

“And now she calls me every week,” he said. “Which is really cool.”

Contact Jack at [email protected], go to or call the Edmonds Waterfront Center at 425-774-5555.

Andrea Brown: [email protected]; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.


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