A 12-year-old San Leandro resident has been named the “Next American Tech Hero” by Lookout, the leader in mobile security.
A “Tech Hero” is a tech savvy individual who people to turn to for help and advice on mobile technology.
In early December, Lookout called upon the American public to nominate their personal “Tech Heroes”, by sharing stories of this this tech savvy friend or family member has helped them better use or understand technology.
DanVy Vu, Aydan’s mother, submitted the following story to Lookout:
Tech Support, How Can We Help You? Did You Drop it, Expose it to Water, Use it as an Ironing Board?
When you have a household with two adults, two retired grandmas, a toddler, and a pre-teen, you need your own live-in tech support. As the only adult who was good at it, I was the on-demand, down-the-hallway help desk. That is if you call rolling your eyes and asking through clenched teeth, “Have you tried rebooting?” good.
About 3 years ago, I started a gourmet food truck that consumed my life. The tech support help desk was forced to shut down. We are a completely plugged in family, so the closure had to be brief. Desperation quickly led to Aydan, my pre-teen, being promoted to tech support. It was a natural choice—he liked Star Wars, had his own Minecraft server, Nikola Tesla was his hero, and one time dressed up as Dwight Schrute for Halloween. Before long, he was called upon to troubleshoot all of our computer problems. Whatever brown box and its content that came through our door was lit up and bideep, bedooping away within the hour of its delivery. We slept soundly at night knowing that we had free anti-virus software downloaded and installed on all our gadgets. Before you call the department of labor, know that Aydan loved what he did. For a kid that asks for a raise in his allowance every month and a nickel for every strand of dog hair he swept up, Aydan never expected payment for his services. Not only was he was a good cheap tech support; he was also a really patient one.
One day at work, I got a call from my mom. Her laptop was no longer working and Aydan couldn't fix it. This was an urgent matter. My mom lost her husband a few years ago and relied on her computer heavily to “drown out the sadness”. Her computer medicated her to sleep every night. I raced to get home that afternoon. I wasn't hurrying home so I could attempt to fix it myself. I was in a hurry to do some damage control. Surely Aydan lost his patience this time. I would have. Only months ago he had helped his grandma set up her new laptop and now that same laptop wasn't turning on. He tried everything. When he had finally given up, he discovered an iron burn mark, branded on and melted through the outside cover of her laptop. His grandma watched him fix her computer that afternoon and never even hinted that maybe, just maybe, leaving a hot iron on top of the laptop might be the cause of malfunction. I had imagined him frustrated, giving her a hard time, possibly throwing a pre-teen fit at what she had done. My mother would be quick to tell me if her grandson had crossed the line. Instead, upon arriving to the scene of the crime, all she said was, “The iron was hotter than I thought.” I was relieved. She said nothing else and I knew all was good. Aydan and I had a good laugh that evening. He later asked me, “Should I build grandma a perfect computer?” He built his own computer last summer and was more than capable of building her one, but I said no. I thought, no, son, your grandma doesn't need a perfect computer, all she needs is great tech support-- somebody that is enthusiastic to help, passionate about their job, and above all, patient, like you. Don’t we all?
One month and 3,000 nominations later, Aydan Vu was voted by the public as the “Next American Tech Hero”.
In addition to the “Tech Hero” title, Vu and his mother will split the grand price of $2,000 — which Vu is planning to donate to a charity.
Vu was thrilled when he found out he won the contest.
“I was super happy! I really enjoy technology,” he said. “To know people voted for me as a tech hero, it means a lot.”
Aside from learning about computer programming from his Uncle or building a computer from scratch to play his video games, Vu enjoys reading about sports. His favorite subjects in school are computer class and math, and plans to go into computer programming when he gets older.
Vu’s mother sparked his love for technology through her interest in technology.
“My mom is my tech hero,” said Vu.
Lookout builds security software that protects people, businesses and networks from mobile threats. With the world’s largest mobile threat dataset and the power of 45 million devices, Lookout proactively prevents fraud, protects data and defends privacy. Lookout secures the mobile experience for people everywhere through Lookout Mobile Security, a consumer app, and Lookout for Business, a cloud-based business offering for device security and management. Lookout was selected as a 2013 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and has offices in San Francisco and London. For more information, please visit www.lookout.com.