Thursday, June 10, 2010

Brenda and Elyse (The Start of a Conversation)

So  excited to load up this blog post in time for class today. Can’t wait to show Brenda. Last week, she wrote a letter to get to know our volunteer team. Elyse not only typed up Brenda’s writing, but also wrote the nicest letter back, which I received via email and am now sharing here online, so that Brenda can read it on the computer screen in class today. To me, this is amazing - a communication loop going from classroom, to email, to blog, back to classroom. And I’ve got a feeling this is just the start of an ongoing conversation.

Dear Volunteers,
How many are you? How did you hear about us? But however you did, Thank you! We have been inspired by hearing other seniors tell their life experiences and we felt we had something to say too. I’m sure you have a story to tell about your lives, and careers too.

- Brenda Bailey, June 3, 2010

Dear Brenda,
Thank you for your lovely note; it has truly been a pleasure reading the stories from the seniors in the class. I actually attended one of the classes last month and enjoyed the energy and laughter in the room.  I heard about the class through my roommate who was a volunteer for the senior center a couple years ago. I then was put in touch with Benita, who has such a wonderful spirit for the work she does. My background is in theatre performance and communications, which I received a BA in at Elizabethtown College in May 2009. I am currently an AmeriCorps VISTA with Project SHINE at Temple University Intergenerational Center. Project SHINE serves elderly immigrants and refugees through English, citizenship, and health literacy classes. In the fall I will be attending Temple to get my masters in clinical social work. I will be spending three days out of the week at Albert Einstein Outpatient Behavior Health. I have a strong interest in therapy. I am pleased to continue typing your stories because it sounds like a therapeutic experience for the seniors in the class. Everyone has a story to share and I am pleased to hear yours every week.  I plan on visiting the class again and some point this summer.

-Peace and best wishes, Elyse Venturella, June 7, 2010