Interview with Trish Lopez, Founder & CEO
Teeniors® are tech-savvy teens who help seniors (or any-aged person) learn technology through one-on-one coaching. Whether it’s a smartphone, computer, or software, our goal is to empower older adults – to connect with their loved ones, engage with their communities, and the world – through technology, while providing paid, meaningful jobs for teens and young adults in New Mexico.
What does your company do?
Teeniors’ coaches provide clients a unique learning experience through personalized, intergenerational tutoring. Older adults walk away feeling more competent and confident in their ability to navigate a rapidly changing world, and our coaches report greater self-confidence, patience, communication skills and problem-solving abilities.
What makes your company or organization unique?
As we approach our 7-year anniversary, I’ve become more certain than ever that the main service Teeniors provides is not tech support, it is human connection. The extent to which we recognize and stay true to this fact is what will ensure our continued success. Personal empowerment – not financial profit – is our ulimtate goal, which we measure through feedback reviews from our coaches, evaluations from our clients, and conversations with our partners.
As our world becomes increasingly more digitized, we’ve all become familiar with the countless websites, call centers, and electronics stores that offer “tech support.” Teeniors is different. Our goal is not to “fix” our clients’ problems as fast as we can; it’s to empower people through a genuine understanding of the technology in their hands. Our clients hold their devices; we merely point and direct. They receive kind, patient, friendly tutoring at a reasonable price, and we never turn away anyone who can’t afford to pay. Everyone who calls our office speaks with a live person who lives in New Mexico. When a client books a session, they receive a confirmation informing them of what to expect, how to prepare, and a follow up afterward to ask how we did.
Our teeniors arrive energetic and eager to work, in part because they know that while they may be marginalized and underestimated elsewhere, with our clients they become the most valued people in the room. They’re respected for their knowledge, appreciated for their help, and compensated fairly for their time, as confirmed by over six years of annual questionnaires and satisfaction surveys. Their feedback matters. I ask the tough questions, like “Hypothetically if you were to quit tomorrow, what would be your reason?” I’ve learned a ton of good by asking for feedback, and we ask the same of our clients. I’m aware of no other peer organization that dedicates its resources and attention in this fashion, and it’s a big part of what makes Teeniors unique.
Is your business growing and do you plan to hire in the next 6 months?
Yes. We’re at the beginning states of creating pilot programs in Deming, Santa Fe, Las Vegas and Taos.
How long has your company been in New Mexico?
Teeniors was created in Albuquerque in 2015; we currently have 15 team members in ABQ; four in Deming; and one in Las Vegas, NM.
What’s one goal you have for the next 12 months?
To maintain a team that is happy in their work, clients who are grateful for our service, and to become more organized as I continue lead us.
Describe where you see technology in the year 2030.
From a global perspective, I’m not sure. From a personal perspective, I’d like to see it become more accessible to everyone across the spectrums of age, income, race, culture, and language.
Why do you choose to do business in New Mexico?
I was born and raised in Belen, and my family and I live in Albuquerque. While I lived and worked outside of the state for several years, I am a daughter of New Mexico and hope to continue creating and supporting the good things we’re all doing here.
What’s your favorite thing about being a member of NMTC?
I love all the people I’ve met through NMTC, especially the amazing women who work in our state’s technology sector that I might not have met otherwise.
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