Since 2015, the MIT AgeLab has awarded scholarships to highschool college students who developed intergenerational applications — initiatives that convey collectively youthful and older individuals for knowledge-sharing and social connection — of their communities. On Sept. 9, 5 $5,000 OMEGA scholarships got to highschool college students throughout the USA, supported by the sponsorship of AlerisLife, a senior residing and rehabilitation and wellness providers firm headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts, and AARP.
OMEGA, which stands for Alternatives for Multigenerational Change, Progress, and Motion, develops programming and affords scholarships to facilitate intergenerational connections between youthful individuals and older adults of their communities.
The scholarships had been awarded at a digital ceremony hosted by the MIT AgeLab, with representatives from the AgeLab, AARP, and AlerisLife in attendance, together with the scholarship winners, their mother and father, and mentors.
Intergenerational applications have quite a few potential advantages. They could have optimistic impacts for the well being and well-being of older members, lowering social isolation and fostering a way of meaningfulness. They could present an identical sense of which means for youthful individuals, in addition to exposing youthful members to views and knowledge that always come solely with age. And youthful members might have their very own information to impart to older adults.
However the easiest cause to develop such programming, suggests Steven Griffon, interim director of AARP Massachusetts, is the enjoyment that it might probably convey to members of all ages. “At AARP, we work with these 50 and older, however actually we work with all people,” Griffon stated on the OMEGA award ceremony. “In my regular day-to-day position, I do quite a lot of work on problem campaigns, and the No. 1 factor that I attempt to remind people is [that] it is key to have enjoyable. Of us who’re older like to have enjoyable, and people who’re youthful like to have enjoyable.”
The 5 scholarship winners and their profitable applications are:
- Cora Funk, senior at Valor Collegiate Academy in Nashville, Tennessee. After attending an OMEGA Summit in 2020, Funk developed “College students Connecting with Seniors,” a membership connecting native highschool college students with older adults within the Nashville group. SCS primarily companions with FiftyForward, a neighborhood nonprofit group.
- Maya Joshi, senior at Walter Payton School Preparatory Excessive Faculty in Chicago, Illinois. Joshi is the president and founding father of a chapter-based nonprofit “Lifting Hearts with the Arts,” which connects older adults and youth for arts-based, one-on-one actions in addition to group programming together with trivia, artwork classes, and tai chi.
- Maya Lall, senior at Holton-Arms Faculty in Bethesda, Maryland. Lall based and serves as government director of “Supporting Seniors,” which offers older adults with know-how help by way of video demonstrations, digital and in-person troubleshooting, and know-how programs at native senior residing communities together with 5 Star Premier Residences of Chevy Chase and Aspenwood Senior Residing Group.
- Steven Yang, senior at Wayzata Excessive Faculty in Plymouth, Minnesota. Yang is founder and president of “Zenith,” which companions with TCM Well being Middle to coach highschool scholar volunteers to show tai chi courses in native residential and assisted residing communities.
- Michael Wilson, now a scholar at Rose-Hulman Institute of Know-how in Terre Haute, Indiana. Wilson coordinated a neighborhood chapter of the Arizona Outdated Time Fiddlers Affiliation. His program, “Bridging the Hole by way of Music,” fosters intergenerational interactions by way of acoustic music jams and performances. He’s additionally a lead speaker, singer, and mandolin participant within the band “Six Gal ‘n Hat,” which performs music for older adults at native occasions.
Within the remarks he gave in accepting his award, Wilson emphasised the advantages he acquired from intergenerational connections in addition to these gained by his older counterparts. “Simply hanging out with people who find themselves my age, though it is perhaps comfy, I do not stand to learn very a lot,” Wilson stated. “It is not solely that I’m prepared to sacrifice my time to counterpoint another person’s life, however they’re enriching my life. That is one thing that I actually need to convey to my era. Now we have the chance to glean issues that will take one other 50 or 60 years to be taught.”
Along with recognizing their work with school scholarships, the AgeLab’s OMEGA program works year-round with college students to develop their intergenerational applications. College students thinking about intergenerational programming and careers in getting old are invited to attend the digital 2022 OMEGA Summit on Oct. 15.
The MIT AgeLab was created in 1999 throughout the MIT Middle for Transportation and Logistics with the intention to invent new concepts and creatively translate applied sciences into sensible options that enhance individuals’s well being and allow them to “do issues” all through their lifespan. Equal to the necessity for concepts and new applied sciences is the idea that improvements in how merchandise are designed, providers are delivered, or insurance policies are applied are of crucial significance to our high quality of life tomorrow.