The following story was contributed by a reader.
At 11 years old, one Wilton boy is taking his advanced computer skills and helping residents a couple of generations older.
Owen Lentner, the son of Wilton-based Lentner Technology principal Sean Lentner, started a program a little over a year ago called the Lentner Junior Engineers. The purpose of the program was to help engage young children in learning how to apply technical skillsets for a good cause.
As the son of someone working in Information Technology, Owen is pretty computer literate. He recognized an opportunity when Microsoft phased out Windows 7 operating systems. At the time, businesses needed to upgrade their computers in order to remain PCI compliant and secure. Instead of paying to upgrade their systems, most businesses started throwing their computers away and buying new devices, so Owen took all the devices from businesses that were getting thrown away and did something amazing — he wiped out all of the data on the drives and manually upgraded the operating systems himself, then donated them to people in need.
Fast forward to the summer of 2021, and Owen is not only donating refurbished computers but also hosting a six-week computer training course for the senior residents at Wilton Commons. Every Tuesday from 3-4 p.m. he runs through a new lesson, carrying a microphone and referring to his PowerPoint slides. He typically returns home at approximately 5:30 p.m. because so many of the residents ask for specific help when his class is over, such as transferring data from phones, backing up photos, etc.
One of the areas he has focused on is cybersecurity education for seniors who are often a prime target of phishing and scams.
Owen’s philanthropic efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. They’ve caught the attention of Dropbox and AppRiver, the largest provider of Microsoft Office 365 email and email threat protection. Both have donated company swag and hope to continue to support Owen and the Lentner Junior Engineers program.
The Lentner Junior Engineers is not-for-profit, but an educational program that hopes to offer free services and help Wilton neighbors become more knowledgeable about technology.