Women2Women - Winter 2018 - 11

Growth2Go

Finance, Mentoring & Education

A Unique Internship Opportunity:
By Jodi Gibble

INTERGENERATIONAL
EXPERIENCE

J

osh Harmes and Eric Moran, students at Alvernia University,
had barely settled into their new apartment at The Highlands
at Wyomissing in late August, but residents of The Highlands at
Wyomissing, a continuing care retirement community located in
Wyomissing, couldn't wait to welcome them.
Moran is pursuing a double major in theology and history at
Alvernia, while also working toward a master's degree in secondary
education. Harmes, a fifth-year Master of Science in Occupational
Therapy scholar, currently works with residents who need rehabilitation.
Moran is volunteering his time by providing spiritual wellness to
the residents. They both plan to assist residents with technology or
simply spend time with them socially.
The student intern-senior residential program, which has been
modeled in parts of Europe and a few areas in the United States,
is intended to provide an exchange of learning and promote better
understanding between different generations.
Kevin P. DeAcosta, a 2000 Alvernia graduate who is President and
CEO of The Highlands at Wyomissing, said that having Harmes,
23, and Moran, 21, at the retirement community benefits both
residents and the students.
"It's a great idea for a senior living community like The Highlands
to participate in intergenerational opportunities," DeAcosta said.
"The residents are just excited about being with young people, and
it's a good opportunity for the students to learn about giving back
and about the generations that came before them."
Moran and Harmes, who were selected for the program based on
academic achievement, campus involvement and personal character,
signed a student intern residence agreement with The Highlands
that, in exchange for room and one meal a day, they would share at
least one meal a week with residents, and provide 12 to 16 hours of
service related to their majors, each month.
Just a couple of weeks after moving in, Harmes and Moran had
already dined in some residents' homes or apartments and were well
on their way to forming friendships.
Jodi Gibble, Director of Marketing at The Highlands, said partnering with Alvernia on this opportunity made sense as the retirement
community and the university have worked together in the past.

In exchange for room and one meal
a day, the students share at least
one meal a week with residents,
and provide 12 to 16 hours of service
related to their majors each month.
"We already have a strong connection with Alvernia through the
university's Seniors College," said Gibble. "It's been a wonderful
partnership; our residents can attend classes for free at the university
or on The Highlands campus. More than 50 residents participate
in the Seniors College classes each semester and some of our own
residents have even taught the courses."
While the student intern program is new, the intent of both The
Highlands and Alvernia is to have it continue.
"We fully intend to do it every year," said DeAcosta. "This first
year is a trial year, and we need to make sure that we get it right to
get the most value for us, the students and the university." Kevin
DeAcosta is impressed with how the program is progressing so far, and
confident that Harmes and Moran are the right fit for the trial year.
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Women2Women - Winter 2018

Women2Women - Winter 2018 - 1
Women2Women - Winter 2018 - 2
Women2Women - Winter 2018 - 3
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Women2Women - Winter 2018 - 11
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