There are a number of CD/DVD burners for Linux, including Brasero as mentioned, as well as K3b. I generally use K3b because it gives me better control over disc write speed and other factors than Brasero does. Both of these tools use command-line programs under-the-covers such as mkisofs, which is why if you want the best control over what the system is doing, you need to master the command line, though it is not necessary. Point in fact, that after almost 15 years of using Linux professionally, I still use the GUI CD/DVD writer tools, simply because it is easier! :-) In case you are interested, I am a Linux system programming professional. I work as a performance engineer on systems that support well over a million concurrent users.
Although those are on a number of data centers, world-wide... :-)
That said, your advise about Brasero was generally spot-on! :-) Also, my 18-year old grandson is a Linux wizard. I don't think he is shaving yet either! I have no prejudice regarding HS kids. My previous cube-mate at 22-years is the same age as my granddaughter, and he is definitely a competent engineer. I ask him for help at least as often as he asks me for mine, and my grandson can do stuff with aircraft design that I can only dream about.
So, in my not-so-humble-opinion, age is not as important as ability and knowledge!
Some times the operating system takes a bit of time to see the external device. Plug it in, and if it isn't recognized in about a minute or so, then try cycling the power to the drive while it is plugged in to the USB port on the system.