As I reflect on the culmination of my time in this program, I look to provide a debrief regarding my Healthy Aging Project, highlighting lessons learned and overall experience. As described in an earlier blog posting, I along with some of my peers put on an art class for seniors at Bayside Community Center in Linda Vista. We provided the art supplies, an art instructor, as well as food throughout the event. It was an intergenerational event, made up of seniors and young adults, as well as children all painting a beautiful picture of a bird. At the end of the event, each person was able to take their piece of art home, and as they did, they all expressed their sincere gratitude towards putting on the event. Furthermore, we were asked by multiple people if another event like this would occur again, and my hope is that the next cohort will be willing to step in and do it next year.
Beyond just developing skills in event planning and coordination of resources, this event also exposed me to the reality that many elders want experiences that allow them to interact with younger counterparts. That being said, in future events such as ours would need to more actively recruit younger individuals to be apart of the class. This will allow rich conversations between both young and old and further, enhance the events experience. Another small thing that I would have changed is increasing the overall time of the event to allow for more instruction as well as a time for discussions after the event to occur.
After the event itself, we were able to create and present a poster board at a Healthy Aging Symposium at UCSD. This experience of putting together the key takeaways from the event, along with creating it in a visually inviting presentation is something I will use in my future endeavors. Being able to present to the general public, our project was delightful, and I thoroughly enjoyed answering each and everyone’s questions.
Life Course Scholars is a program that I will hold near and dear to my heart. If you have the chance to be apart of such a wonderful course, you should take it. Being able to understand better the aging experience across the life course along with exploring the community of San Diego has made me a better citizen of the world. I look forward to taking what I learned and was involved in my future endeavors.
For the last time, this is Kyle, over and out!