Above picture: Tierra Beard, left, student at Simmons College of Kentucky with Betty Riggins, resident at Christian Care Communities
Simmons College of Kentucky & Christian Care Communities Foundation Announce First Intergenerational Program Alliance In America
To Give Students New Pathway to Earn Congressional Award Gold Medal
Foster Education and Relationship Building Between Young and Old
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY (March 15, 2017) – Christian Care Communities Foundation and Simmons College of Kentucky today announced an alliance that expands opportunities for Kentucky students to earn the U.S. Congressional Award Gold Medal, the highest honor given by Congress to youth. As the first alliance of its kind in the nation with a historically black college, this collaboration encourages intergenerational education and relationship building while fostering the expansion of the Congressional Award Program in Kentucky.
“Simmons College students pursing the Congressional Gold Medal will now have the opportunity to benefit from the life experiences of Christian Care residents who will serve as mentors and advisors,” said Mary Lynn Spalding, President and Chief Executive Officer of Christian Care Communities, Kentucky’s largest faith-inspired provider of senior living communities and long-term care for older adults. “Our residents have a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and life skills that they are eager and willing to pass on to the next generation, and students have the unique opportunity to learn directly from elders who care personally about their future.”
“This collaboration with Christian Care Communities and the Congressional Award Program fits squarely within our vision and mission,” said Dr. Kevin Cosby, President of Simmons College of Kentucky, the nation’s 107th historically black college. “It’s a rich and diverse program that engages our neighbors so our students become productive citizens and agents of positive change in our society when they graduate.”
For the Christian Care Communities Foundation, the alliance focuses on a core pillar of Christian Care – generational leadership and lifelong learning.
“At Christian Care, we’ve seen firsthand the positive effects of bringing together generations,” said Jim Patton, Vice President of Mission Advancement and General Counsel of Christian Care, who orchestrated the formal partnership between the Foundation and the Congressional Award to support intergenerational dialogue and youth mentoring.
“For our residents, there is the sheer joy that comes from working with and helping young people, which in turn increases self-worth and a sense of purpose and overall satisfaction with life,” said Patton. “And as young people work toward earning their Congressional Gold Medal, they are introduced to future career paths in gerontology, health sciences and pastoral care.”
The Congressional Award was established in 1979 and is the highest honor given by Congress to youth, ages 14 to 24. To earn the award, young people participate in four program areas: Leadership Development, Community Service, Physical Fitness and Exploration.
“We’re excited to further engage youth throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Erica Heyse, National Director of the Congressional Award. “The partnership between the Christian Care Communities Foundation and the Congressional Award is the first of its kind, aiming to promote intergenerational education and relationship building between our youth participants and seniors.”
James Patton, Vice President
Mission Advancement and General Counsel
(502) 254-4200 or cell (502) 648-6983