GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD)-Samaritas has been working with Grand Valley State University to welcome a new innovative program that is bringing generations together. It is being called the intergeneration experience which is open to students at Grand Valley State University who are studying health as a profession. The students apply by writing a letter to the residents as to why they want to be part of this experience. Then a panel of residents and leaders at Samaritas decide which student gets accepted. This year’s first ever intergenerational experience student from Grand Valley State University is Kayla Gacioch.
In exchange for participating in the program Kayla gets to live at Samaritas with free room, board, and meals. Kayla spends 8 to 10 hours a week with the residents doing anything from volunteering at an event to sitting down and eating a meal together. This helps to connect the residents with their community while giving Kayla great job experience. While the program is still in its first year, Samaritas is hoping to continue the program as it benefits both residents and the students. It helps the students gain experience working on bedside manners and customer services.