Monday, February 23, 2015

Workforce Academy for Youths

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week, we feature intergenerational program ideas that were tried and successful. This series is a tool to highlight various age-optimized programs and practices. The program descriptions are provided by representatives of the programs. Inclusion in this series does not imply Generations United’s endorsement or recommendation, but rather encourages ideas to inspire other programs.

In the latest of series, we feature Workforce Academy for Youth (WAY), based in San Diego County, California.

(Check our archives for parts 1-33.)

Workforce Academy for Youth (WAY) mission is to give foster youth the opportunity to learn and gain work experience to better prepare for a county position (or equivalent job) and/or to encourage him or her to continue his or her education.

The County of San Diego implemented WAY in September 2006 to provide workforce experience to those who are "aging out" of the foster care system and transitioning to self-sufficiency.

WAY is a six-month paid internship program that provides employment, training and mentorship to emancipating foster youth age 17-21.

The program unites youth with older adult Life Skill Coaches to support the development of work and life skills.

Got something cool you tried that was successful? Why not tweet your cool intergenerational ideas to #cooligideas? You can also post them to our Intergenerational Connections Facebook Group or just text us through the Facebook Messenger app (friend me to join our Cool Intergenerational Ideas group discussion). We want to highlight innovative age-optimized programs and practices through our blog, social media and weekly e-newsletter! Share the inspiration.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

New Life Village

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week, we feature intergenerational program ideas that were tried and successful. This series is a tool to highlight various age-optimized programs and practices. The program descriptions are provided by representatives of the programs. Inclusion in this series does not imply Generations United’s endorsement or recommendation, but rather encourages ideas to inspire other programs.

In the latest of series, we feature New Life Village, based in Tampa FL.

(Check our archives for parts 1-32.)

New Life Village is a unique inter-generational community conceived to encourage more people to adopt children who have been languishing in the foster care system.

New Life Village offers a place to live and a community that the children can, at last, call “Home”.

It offers eligible families a home and a supportive community with activities, programs, and services; it also offers eligible older adult resident volunteers a home to provide basic support for the families and to engage in activities within the village.

Got something cool you tried that was successful? Why not tweet your cool intergenerational ideas to #cooligideas? You can also post them to our Intergenerational Connections Facebook Group or just text us through the Facebook Messenger app (friend me to join our Cool Intergenerational Ideas group discussion). We want to highlight innovative age-optimized programs and practices through our blog, social media and weekly e-newsletter! Share the inspiration.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Congrats to our 2015 Best Intergenerational Communities!

(Click here to view enlarged image.) Author and journalist
Juan Williams offers welcoming remarks. 
Yesterday, we presented three communities with the 2015 MetLife Foundation/Generations United Best Intergenerational Communities Award.

These communities – including Carlisle, MA; Greater Richmond Region, VA; and Greater Plymouth Area, WI – promote policies, programs, practices and services that increase cooperation, interaction and exchange between people of different generations.

“They are among the most vibrant, livable communities you will find anywhere in the nation,” Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United, told a packed room at the Hall of States.

Today, 8.4 million Americans live in such communities. This year’s honorees, combined, have a total of 1.2 million residents, which contributes to the total number of people living in age-friendly communities.

Butts praised the honorees' persistence in becoming age-optimized.

“As the communities we are recognizing today know,” she said, “it takes time, investments, commitment and leadership to bring younger and older people together in a true partnership that engages and respects the strengths of each generation.”

(Click here to view enlarged image.) Thelma Collins, mayor of Itta Bena, MS
(a 2013 winner) sharing how the award impacted her community.
That time, investment and commitment paid off for our past winners like Itta Bena, MS (2013 winner).

“The award helped our community see we are moving in the right direction towards a healthier community for all ages,” said Thelma Collins, mayor of Itta Bena, MS. As a result of the award, she added, “We were recognized by the Obama administration and received one of 26 technical assistance grants to help us get a grocery store.”

Dennis White, CEO and president of MetLife Foundation, shared highlights from Maricopa County, AZ, and San Diego County, CA.

For Maricopa County, the award validated their work and helped raised morale among its residents.

San Diego County reported that the award got them the attention of their County Board of Supervisors who decided to start embracing intergenerational programming by voting to add four new intergenerational coordinators through their county.

MetLife Foundation's CEO and President Dennis White
“We know the award has impacted the communities we’ve honored,” White said. 

“We applaud today’s recipients of the Intergenerational Best Communities Award for unleashing the power of intergenerational connections that encourage people of all ages to thrive and work together to make their communities better places to grow up and grow old.”

The awards presentation took place on Capitol Hill and featured author and journalist Juan Williams and our Board member Jatrice Martel Gaither, executive vice president of External Affairs for Volunteers of America.

During her remarks, 11-year-old Margot, of Carlisle, shared a touching story about helping older adults in her community.

Drew Schweiger, 18, and his older adult buddy, Larry Bray, of Greater Plymouth Area, talked about the benefits of living in an age-friendly community.

Doris Hairston, of Greater Richmond Region, shares a story about helping
a challenged youth overcome various obstacles through problem-solving.
As a mentor in the Greater Richmond Region’s Foster Grandparent Program, Doris Hairston sees first-hand the benefits of generations mixing it up.

She recounted a story about helping a challenged youth overcame various obstacles through problem-solving.

Hairston is fulfilled knowing she helps children like Charles. 

“Together,” she said, “the other volunteers and the children we work with are making positive differences in each other’s’ lives.”

Congratulations, again, to our winners. You can see other highlights here.

If you’re interested in more info about intergenerational communities, click here and share our resources with your networks.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Generation Exchange

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week, we feature intergenerational program ideas that were tried and successful. This series is a tool to highlight various age-optimized programs and practices. The program descriptions are provided by representatives of the programs. Inclusion in this series does not imply Generations United’s endorsement or recommendation, but rather encourages ideas to inspire other programs.

In the latest of series, we feature Generation Exchange, based in Kansas City, MO.

(Check our archives for parts 1-31.)

Generation Exchange is an intergenerational storytelling (oral history) project designed to increase social interaction between youth and older adults.

Generation Exchange also offers the opportunity to preserve and carry on local history to future generations.

Through Generation Exchange, every older adult in the greater Kansas City region will have the opportunity to tell their story.

The goal of this project is to create a collection of stories that document memories and experiences related to neighborhood life, historical events, and cultural experiences that shaped the lives of previous generations.

Got something cool you tried that was successful? Why not tweet your cool intergenerational ideas to #cooligideas? You can also post them to our Intergenerational Connections Facebook Group or just text us through the Facebook Messenger app (friend me to join our Cool Intergenerational Ideas group discussion). We want to highlight innovative age-optimized programs and practices through our blog, social media and weekly e-newsletter! Share the inspiration.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

mUsic Unites

 EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week, we feature intergenerational program ideas that were tried and successful. This series is a tool to highlight various age-optimized programs and practices. The program descriptions are provided by representatives of the programs. Inclusion in this series does not imply Generations United’s endorsement or recommendation, but rather encourages ideas to inspire other programs.

In the latest of series, we feature mUsic Unites, based at Hebrew SeniorLife’s Jack Satter House in Revere, MA.

(Check our archives for parts 1-30.)

mUsic Unites is a intergenerational music program that operates from the premise that music can be a common denominator that unites us all, no matter our ages or backgrounds.

Each week, local high school students teach older adults how to play musical instruments (voice, piano, guitar, and drums).

Program participants are developing meaningful relationships with music as the medium; the high school students have become teachers and the older adults are realizing that there is no such thing as being "too old" when it comes to learning something new and achieving one's goals.

Got something cool you tried that was successful? Why not tweet your cool intergenerational ideas to #cooligideas? You can also post them to our Intergenerational Connections Facebook Group or just text us through the Facebook Messenger app (friend me to join our Cool Intergenerational Ideas group discussion). We want to highlight innovative age-optimized programs and practices through our blog, social media and weekly e-newsletter! Share the inspiration.