Thursday, May 29, 2014

Meet Adam Otto - Generations United Summer Intern

Adam Otto
How many young adults today learned how to play bridge or heard insider details of World War II? 

I have because of the time I’ve spent with older adults.

That’s what makes my interest in intergenerational issues personal.

I lived with my grandparents for about 15 years, and they were very involved in my life before that. Because of this, I know firsthand some of the difficulties that grandfamilies face.

My grandmother is a strong advocate for kinship care issues. In the past, I worked with her local Relatives as Parents Program group, where I learned about various policy issues.

Now, I’m a 24 year old graduate of Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV.

I’m also an intern at Generations United. Most of my work here will focus on grandfamilies and be research and policy related.

During my time here, I’ve enjoyed attending meetings on topics ranging from neighborhood revitalization initiatives to child hunger program reforms.

In June, I’ll also be working on “Raising Caregiver Voices,” an advocacy training session that will help form a “grandnetwork” in addition to training a new generation of advocates.

I’ll also take part in the release of the joint advocacy agenda, Advocates for Families First, in collaboration with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the North American Council on Adoptable Children, and the National Foster Parents Association to be held at the Capitol Visitor Center on June 18.

My interests span beyond kinship care policies to intergenerational collaboration.

Since I grew up around older adults, not only am I aware of senior issues, but I also feel my time around them really enriched my life and gave me experiences unique to the typical young adult.

Many seniors are eager to share their years of knowledge and experience.

There is also a lot the youth can offer seniors. A youth’s vitality and enthusiasm can be invigorating for an older adult.

For several years, I spent time with a feisty woman in her 90s. I ran various errands and tasks that she couldn’t do alone.

Even though she has since passed on, I’ll cherish our friendship for the rest of my life and make use of what she taught me. 

I’m excited to be working at Generations United, helping to advocate for intergenerational issues, giving back to the people who helped me along the way.


Brent Elrod said...


You must be Annie's grandson. I first met Annie when she was in DC. I've always admired her character and resolve, which you seem to emulate. I know you will have a great experience at GU and I wish you the best. Please extend my greetings to your grandmother!

Brent Elrod

Adam Otto said...

Mr. Elrod,

Thank you very much for your kind words! I will be sure to say hello to my grandmother.