Small Business Launch: Building Up Seniors in Tech by Alondria Wright

Posted on May 2, 2024

by Lindsay Williams, Small Business and Nonprofit Librarian

As the years pass and we grow wiser, how can we stay both independent and engaged in our communities? This month, the national Administration for Community Living seeks to answer that question. May sees the observance of Older Americans Month with 2024’s ‘Powered by Connection’ theme, recognizing the profound impact that meaningful relationships and social connections have on our health and well-being.

Recently, the Small Business and Nonprofit team had the pleasure of assisting two small business owners who have based their entire entrepreneurial journeys around helping seniors to stay healthy and connected. Keep reading for the story of Alondria Wright, who is expanding the horizons of local older Americans through technology.

Service: Building Up Seniors in Tech

Before becoming a small business owner, Alondria Wright fielded support requests for a local technical service provider. “People were upset and frustrated, and I felt like as I listened to more and more senior citizens to call into my line, I felt rushed to get them the help that they needed.” Feeling limited by the extent to which she could help seniors in that role, Wright got an idea…

“I was a home health aide for years. I thought, what can I do now to help them in this other space? They really just want to understand what’s going on with their homes and technology so they won’t be feeling the way that they’re feeling. Instead, they’ll feel supported.”

Between Wright’s time spent in home health and tech support, she identified a gap in the market and built her company – Building Up Seniors in Tech – to fill it. “I see the future, and these seniors – they deserve to be engaged with it rather than left behind. They were the ones who helped us to get here, and set the foundations for these technologies!”

As she built the business, she noticed a trend, “African American seniors have a harder time connecting than their white counterparts because they often cannot afford to be connected.” She began to explore how Building Up Seniors in Tech could focus on communities that most lacked these resources, such as lower income neighborhoods. This led her to connect with the Area Office on Aging which would spur her greatest professional accomplishment to date.

When Wright sat down with us for this interview, she shared that one of the most rewarding things about entrepreneurship was being invited to the table, “To sit at a Board table with the Area Office on Aging and talk about my program – that was a major win for me.” Hours after she left the Library, she emailed to let our team know she had been approved to work on a major project with the Area Office on Aging and would be delivering technology workshops at senior centers across Northwest Ohio!

“Sitting down to review Alondria’s proposal for the Area Office on Aging months back, we saw her determination first hand. My teammate Zach and I were thrilled to get the email that everything had come full circle, and she’d be assisting seniors as early as this spring just as she set out to do in the proposal,” shared Lindsay of the Library’s Small Business and Nonprofit team.

In addition to utilizing Library resources, Wright also completed courses through ASSETS Toledo. “I’d recommend anyone go and take their classes. They helped me so much!”

When asked about the class curriculum she plans to offer seniors, she provided a menu of valuable options including:

  • Learning about home technologies – how to overcome challenges, and how to disconnect (examples include smartphones, televisions, computers, and printers)
  • Email basics – how to set one up, how to determine what is a legitimate message and what is a scam
  • Everyday computer tasks, such as uploading and downloading, which people often need to be able to do for ODJFS, Social Security, and more
  • Online banking fundamentals

Wright is essentially looking at both small and major technology hurdles and helping seniors to bridge the gap between themselves and other populations who are more digitally native; “At 40, I’m starting to become an older adult. I will be the senior that I’m talking about in the not too distant future. I enjoy what I do, because when I get of age I would love for someone to carry the torch of what I do to ensure I can keep up on the technologies that become part of our world.”

Those interested in learning more about Building Up Seniors in Tech can keep up with Wright on LinkedIn and her website, or join her at the Sylvania Senior Center on June 25th for a free informational session from 1-2pm.

Writing your own business proposal or nonprofit grant application and could use some support? Our Small Business and Nonprofit department team offers one-on-one assistance sessions, classes, and more – learn more and connect with us here.

Did you like this blog post? Keep up to date with all of our posts by subscribing to the Library’s newsletters!

Keep your reading list updated with our book lists. Our staff love to read and they’ll give you the scoop on new tv-series inspired titles, hobbies, educational resources, pop culture, current events, and more!

Looking for more great titles? Get personalized recommendations from our librarians with this simple form.