New UCSD program bridges gap between millennials and seniors

LA JOLLA – A new program at University of California, San Diego is bridging the disconnect between millennials and seniors. On the first Friday of each month, a group of UCSD students head to Casa de Manana, a retirement community in La Jolla to catch up with the residents and see the world through their eyes.

The program, called the Intergenerational Club, is purely voluntary.  It consists of roundtable discussions with elders and weekly walks along Coast Boulevard near the Children’s Pool.

Sometimes there are four different generations in the room from whom to learn.  No topic is off limits — from relationships,  having kids and life transitions to lighter topics like fashion, music and social media.

“It warms my heart because there is so much wisdom to be shared,” said Kelly Hillegeist, Life Enrichment Director for Casa de Manana.  I’m just inspired that this younger generation is interested in receiving that wisdom.”

Students say they appreciate gaining the perspective from a wiser generation.

“They’re all inspirational people who, in a sense, I aspire to be,” said student Genesis Hill.

The senior residents say it gives them a sense of purpose.  Some add this group feels like family.

“Every month we look forward to Fridays,” said Irma Cannon, 69, “It’s enlightening, inspiring and causes reflection.”

Those interested in participating can contact Karyn Speidel at UCSD.

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