SHREWSBURY, MO – Today St. John Vianney High School students are the teachers. Their classroom? Our Lady of Life independent living community. The subject? Cybersecurity. The Department of Justice estimates older adults lose more than $3 billion each year to financial scams, many of them committed online.
“They all have smartphones, a lot of them have tablets. Most all of them have computers. They have Facebook accounts. They have email accounts. They do online banking,” said Dan Didier, Vianney Cybersecurity teacher.
Their connectivity creates vulnerability. That’s why this crash course on everything from phishing scams to Facebook, passwords to page hacking is vitally important. Resident Shirley Vaughn has embraced technology and this lesson from her teenage teachers.
“I think they’re very good, and they’re all tall, aren’t they? They’re very intelligent. They know all of their subjects,” said Vaughn.
“This year we were offered the cybersecurity class at Vianney. I was like this is my chance. I went in getting an early start before college,” said Mike Esswein, Vianney senior.
Esswein was part of the Vianney team that placed first out of 53 teams at the Missouri High School Cyber Security Challenge.
“They said we’d like to do a service project and go out to the community. What better group to have them talk with? As you can see in the room, they’re all engaged,” said Didier.
“These people, they still have it, they just don’t really know the ins and outs. I think it was good that we could help them out with that and that they were here and wanted to learn. I think we could teach them some stuff,” said Zach Adamec, Vianney senior.
“We’ll always be open to learning, and it helps to have good teachers. Certainly,” said Vaughn.
Good teachers. Willing Students. A winning combination even when the roles and ages are reversed.