BC’s own “Genius Bar” reaches out to the community

area resident shows two students a smartphone

On Wednesday, Jan. 3, area senior citizens had a chance to troubleshoot technology issues with the experts as student interns from Bethlehem Central High School’s Justin T. Brown Technology Help Desk headed to Town Hall for a day of community service.

At an event co-hosted by the Town of Bethlehem, members of the young tech team shared their know-how with more than a dozen seniors, helping them navigate their smartphones, iPads, passwords, apps, and more.

The students’ unique combination of tech expertise and customer service skills have been developed while serving as interns who staff the school’s Help Desk. The high school Help Desk has the look and feel of an Apple Store’s Genius Bar, where customers can get expert help with hardware and software issues.

Throughout the school year, the Help Desk interns serve as the first line of support at the high school, staffing the Help Desk located in the main foyer of the school. They welcome students and staff at all hours of the school day and work together with Tech Department staff troubleshooting, taking calls and answering emails from students and staff alike. 

The BC Help Desk, which was introduced in 2011, serves as a model for school districts nationwide. The intern program is coordinated by one of its founders, Senior Network & Systems Administrator Navaar Johnson.

Johnson and his Technology Department colleagues train up to two dozen student interns every summer.  Each student volunteers between 10 to 15 hours a week to help students and staff set up and change passwords, install software, and troubleshoot Chromebook issues.

Thank you to the Town of Bethlehem for hosting the event, to the Technology Department for planning the outing, and to the student volunteers who staff the Help Desk:

  • Estela Ceci
  • Jacob Cronce
  • Benjamin Eden
  • Sinjin Facchetti
  • Christopher Folio
  • Maxwell Gold 
  • Thomas Heckman
  • Shen Henson
  • Eric Herzog
  • Abigail Jones
  • Kyla Levin
  • Daniel Mann
  • Seth Mathews
  • Myles McCarthy
  • Zoey McCarthy
  • Jason Middendorf
  • Conor Morrissey
  • Karthik Narayan
  • Spencer Neal
  • Purvayi Patil
  • Luca Ruggiero
  • Ian Talens
  • Macen Vennard
  • Mahmud Zamamiri

collage of photos from Teens and Tech event

Photos: Heather Maltby