Jean Barker Intergenerational Connections Program

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:

An Oberlin student’s relationships define the college experience and success both inside and outside the classroom. The Oberlin College Dialogue Center wants to implement a program that helps students with their transition both into and out of the Oberlin environment by linking them with the more experienced residents of Oberlin. Starting this fall, all students, especially first-year and second-year students, will have the opportunity to participate in the Jean Barker Intergenerational Connections Program. In this program, students will cultivate relationships with the residents of Kendal, Welcome Nursing Home, and John Frederick Oberlin Society (JFO).

The program will pair two to four current Oberlin students with a resident at one of the above locations. They will be paired primarily by interests, hobbies, and possibly home region. Specific requests and or considerations made by mentors and mentees will also be considered when pairing students.

Throughout the semester, the students and senior residents will participate in several structured activities. For example, the Connections Program will begin with a general “meet-and-greet” event where the students and senior residents are introduced. From there, the relationship will continue with regular events. This interaction will enable students and senior residents to learn from, enjoy, and assist each other while also overcoming traditional generational boundaries. As an added benefit, students will learn to address some problems facing families, individuals, and communities. This relationship will be a purely personal one, with the students working on a volunteer basis.

GOALS:

  • To help students and Oberlin residents overcome traditional generational barriers.
  • To help students learn from and assist the more experienced residents of Oberlin.
  • To provide students with skills to address some of the problems facing families and communities.

TARGETED MENTOR GROUPS:

Any/all Oberlin College students, especially first-year and second-year students

Any/all Welcome Nursing Home, Kendal at Oberlin, JFO Society residents, or Oberlin area residents

If you would like to participate in this program, complete the Jean Barker Intergenerational Connections Program online interest survey.