Mary Willis, a freshman at CLU, sat down and started a conversation with a senior couple at The Reserve at Thousand Oaks.
They talked about the stock market and about their families.
Willis is a part of a university program that connects student volunteers with those living at the retirement community close to the CLU campus.
“I have a couple named Joyce and Boris, which I meet with on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. I have already learned so much about them,” said Willis.
The Senior Buddies program allows students from CLU to have a senior friend.
“I only met my senior buddy once, but I already love her so much. She is just sassy and full of life,” said freshman Christine Trunick.
It’s a recurring program that lasts the whole school semester. Students set up a schedule to meet with their senior buddy on a weekly basis to talk or to do activities at The Reserve.
“It’s so interesting how many things we have in common and I only talk to her for about an hour. I feel I can talk to her so easily,” said Trunick.
Trunick, who is from Texas, said the program has helped her not to be so home sick, because she feels like she has adopted a grandparent.
Students learn a lot from these meetings with the seniors and they even receive some advice about life.
“We have so much to learn from them because they live their lives and they have learned from mistakes and we can learn from those mistakes as well,” said Willis.
“I love talking to the elderly because they have a lot of advice and because they have lived their lives. They know the good and bad. It’s kind of cool,” said Trunick.
Some seniors in the program have been a part of important events in history, or have lived through World War II.
“I love to meet someone and help them in some way from conversation to the point that I can either help them in the course of their life or have them teach me something,” said junior Wayne Swinson.
According to Swinson, his curiosity and his relationship with his grandparents motivated him to help set-up the Senior Buddies program.
“In October and November I reached out to The Reserve Center and I said I would love to set-up a program were we can bring CLU students here and help out in some regard with some of the seniors. My initial interest to work with the seniors was because I had a very close relationship with my great grandparents; my great grandmother was like another mother. You gain so much wisdom and knowledge from helping out seniors,” said Swinson.
Kikey Aguila Bello
Published Feb. 27, 2013