Real-world learning opportunity for the next generation

SpiriTrust Lutheran®, The Village at Kelly Drive partnered with York College student, Jamese Preston, to create a real-world learning opportunity that enhanced her knowledge and skill set to be a next generation caregiver. Beginning in January, Preston participated in a learning experience that included a balanced academic curriculum and service-oriented work at SpiriTrust Lutheran.

Through this partnership, Preston was required to provide 15 to 20 hours of monthly community service. Preston worked with the activities team at The Village at Kelly Drive, helping to provide entertainment and other activities for residents. In return, she was provided free room and board at the village. This intergenerational experience provides Preston the opportunity to interact with residents in their home environment.

During the time of the partnership, Preston was a senior at York College where she majored in human services and minored in gerontology. While growing up the York County native spent a lot of time at her grandparents’ house located near The Village at Kelly Drive. She believes this fueled her passion for working with older adults. Preston is no stranger to SpiriTrust Lutheran, as she previously interned at The Village at Sprenkle Drive before finding her way back to The Village at Kelly Drive. Preston learned many valuable skills during her time, such as how to communicate clearly, make assessments and assist residents with activities of daily living.

Preston says she has found this experience to be both insightful and challenging. “This experience has dispelled some of the myths behind aging and has shown me that it’s not a bad thing, but rather an exciting time in one’s life. The experience also has shown me the challenges that are to be expected as one ages. This opportunity has helped hone my caregiving skills and confirmed my passion for working with older adults,” added Preston.

She credits her internships for building a foundation of skills that will allow her to move confidently throughout the human services profession. Currently, Preston is taking academic steps towards becoming a social worker. After receiving her undergraduate degree, Preston hopes to attend Millersville University in the fall of 2017 for her masters in social work. In the future, she hopes to work as a case worker or manager for the Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services.