As a junior at Stevenson University, Stephanie Furst planned and implemented cooking programs, discussions, and reminiscing activities for residents at Brightview Mays Chapel Ridge, a senior living community in Timonium, Maryland.
“I loved spending time with the residents, getting to know them and their interests, and learning about their favorite foods, so we could cook together,” explains Stephanie.
Residents loved the interaction of the intergenerational programming.
When she graduated, Stephanie was offered a part time position as Vibrant Living Assistant at the community.
The scenario has played out similarly for a number of other Human Services Majors from the liberal arts school in Maryland. In their third year of study of their final semester, students intern at the community or chose the community for their Practicum, a field that may be of interest following graduation.
For more than four years, Brightview Mays Chapel Ridge’s partnership with Stevenson University has brought residents and students together in unique and fascinating ways.
“Our relationship with Stevenson is exciting,” begins Vibrant Living Director Dori Ray. “And so are the collaborations with students.”
“For the fourth year, their Human Services Club, a community service group, helped out with our annual senior prom. The student volunteers arrive early and decorate our dining rooms and main area for prom. They also make corsages and boutonnieres for all of our residents. And, of course they come and dance the night away with residents.”
“As well, as part of our newest collaboration, we are working with Psychology or Human Services Majors. At school, they are enrolled in counseling courses. Here, they learn empathy, active listening, and relationship building in a real life setting.
“It is truly wonderful to bring these young people into this setting. Everybody benefits!”