Living Connected High School Program

The first ‘Young Mentors’ online cohort have successfully completed their training with iAccelerate resident company Living Connected.

The program aims to train students to help members of the older generation with their use of technology but also learn from the seniors’ life experiences. Ten High School Students and two senior Primary School students from the Illawarra and Shoalhaven successfully completed the Young Mentors Training Program. 

Initially, Living Connected had planned to run a face to face Young Mentors Training Program in partnership with the eSafety Commissioner and local high schools. The plan was to run two instructional meetings with the students at their schools to teach them the basics of digital mentoring and to encourage them to reflect on their own use of technology in comparison of that of older generations. Following this two practical sessions were arranged where the students would come to Living Connected dropin sessions to get practice at helping seniors with technology and experience some inter-generational conversation. 

These plans were put on hold when schools and aged care facilities closed due to COVID19 restrictions. However due to COVID19 all Living Connected dropin help sessions with seniors were moved online, so they decided to do the same with the Young Mentors Training.

About the Young Mentors Training Program

The program started with two Zoom sessions of tuition run by experienced mentors using the ‘Be Connected’ mentor training resources adapted for online delivery and a context of cross-generational dialog.

In one session they invited PhD student Alex Trauth-Goik to engage the trainees in discussion about how they all use the Internet. In the other, Kim Leach led a discussion on challenges associated with online gaming.

At both sessions they used Zoom breakout rooms to allow discussions on the topics raised by Alex and Kim in small groups.

The tuition sessions were followed by two practical sessions. In the school holidays, Living Connected invited the young mentors to help out at their regular Zoom sessions with seniors. Here, each young mentor helps one of the clients in a Zoom breakout room under the supervision of one of  Living Connected lead mentor Helen Hasan.

On completion of the training all students were presented with Digital Mentor certificates. 

Below are the local trainees, from left with certificates are Cooper Hunter and Jordan, with Kim Leach, Helen Hasan, Manager of Living Connected and Alex Trauth-Goik at the iAccelerate.  Of the other young mentors, two were from Sydney, three from Nowra and four from Ulladulla.

Living Connected High School Program



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