“What I enjoy the most is the surprise and discovery that happens almost every time we meet. Who knew we’d learn so much from each other?” Denise M. (Older Adult Volunteer)
Welcome to GENuine Connections. We’re building an online community devoted to making genuine connections between older adults and high school students. What’s special about this community is the people, the conversation and the bonds that are formed when people of different generations come together and find common ground.
Teens and older adults meet weekly over Zoom in small groups to talk and participate in activities ranging from creative writing, chess, art, current events and so much more, leading to the discovery of new and shared perspectives. (Scroll down to see this semester’s options.)
Volunteer today and experience the rewards of intergenerational friendship!
“Community service credit was my main motivation to join the program, but the experience turned out to be way more than that. I met fascinating people. It’s surprising how much we all have in common.” Ben S. (Teen Volunteer)
New volunteers can register below for an orientation:
Returning volunteers can see the full schedule and register for upcoming workshops:
Our lives revolve around connections. Hear from five pairs of senior and teen friends in this video!
Who is this for?
High school students
What does it cost?
GENuine Connections is free. All participants are volunteering their time (and teens even earn volunteer hours).
How does registration work?
New participants, both adults (65+) and teens, must attend a virtual Orientation Session, complete paperwork, and then register for the workshop(s) that best fit their interests and schedule. (A background check is conducted for the adults.) Returning participants can register directly for workshops.
What happens at an Orientation Session?
The orientation is a chance to experience what GENuine Connections is like. We get to know you, tell you more about the program, and make space for you to ask any questions you may have. This is a way to ensure it is the right program for you!
What is a GENuine Connections workshop?
GENuine Connections offers weekly sessions conducted through Zoom on everything from creative writing, discussion groups and so much more. (Scroll down to see this semester’s options.)
What happens in the workshops?
You’ll connect via Zoom and spend time each week with the same small group of approximately 24 participants — a mix of adults (65+) and teens, plus a trained facilitator — as well as smaller breakout rooms. (Our Tech Coaches can teach you — via phone or FaceTime — how to connect to the Zoom platform.)
How long are the workshops?
Workshops range from 60-120 minutes and last for 6-9 weekly sessions. Each session will build upon the previous one, so plan to be there for all of them.
Where can I see the full schedule?
Find out about upcoming workshops, dates and times here.
The Fall Semester begins on October 16 and ends on December 14.
The Mini Semester starts January 3 and ends January 18.
The Winter Semester starts January 29 and ends March 14.
First time? New participants must register for a volunteer Orientation Session first.
GENuine Connections Workshops Offered:
- Mindfulness: This workshop will open your eyes to how you can bring a little more mindfulness into your everyday life.
- Story Circles: We all have a story to tell. So, spend an hour each week engaging in Story Circles!
- New York Stories: Join a multigenerational discussion of New York's immigrant history and share your own New York story.
- And More!
Have more questions? Check out our FAQ PAGE if you have questions about the workshops, applying, registering or anything else.
For more information, email us at email@example.com.
UPCOMING 2023 PROGRAM DATES:
Fall Semester: October 16 - December 14
Mini Winter Semester: January 3 - January 18
Winter Semester: January 29 - March 14