Al Treviño has accomplished quite a few things in his life. He was one of Irvine’s original planners and also worked under three U.S. presidents as assistant secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help ensure Americans had a roof over their heads.
Now, at 88, Treviño is determined to make even more of an impact by tackling one of America’s pressing issues: the aging population.
He recently founded Students 4 Seniors, a nonprofit organization that connects high school students with seniors who want to learn how to use technology such as smartphones and computers. The students can earn community service hours that could strengthen their college applications.
“There are so many opportunities to do some very positive things for these two generations,” Treviño said. “This would have more impact than some of the things I’ve done.”
The number of those 65 years and older will almost double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060, according to U.S. Census Bureau projections.
He came up with the Students 4 Seniors idea when his teenage granddaughter was visiting him. She mentioned that there were not many community service activities she felt productive doing.
“If they all did 40 hours of community service helping seniors improve their technology knowledge, think of the impact that would have,” Treviño said.
“These students can also interview the senior citizens they are working with and have the opportunity to document their history and background.” said Carrie Zeller, who helps Trevino run the program.
“I learned many important things through stories that my grandparents would tell me, ” Zeller said. “It is important that these students are exposed to senior citizens and learn about history through their life experiences.”