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GENuine Connections

“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! The Winter 2023 semester begins January 30th. Register for an orientation now to save your spot and participate!

“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)

 

Connections That Count

Our lives revolve around connections. Hear from five pairs of senior and teen friends in this video! 

 

 

 

Who is this for?
High school students
Adults 65+

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 go ahead and register HERE

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 Winter Semester begins on January 30th and ends on March 16th. Participants must be registered by January 16th (or until workshops are filled).

First time? New participants must register for a volunteer Orientation Session first. 

 

Connections is a valuable experience

GENuine Connections Workshops Offered This Winter (January 30-March 16, 2022):

  • Brain Games: Our most popular workshop! Play a variety of games, solve riddles, and have fun!
  • Current Events Discussion Group: We will explore experiences and reflect on current events and social issues as they relate to our lives. This group provides a structure for all participants to explore important issues in the news, exchanging ideas and opinions, and to learn from one another.
  • Chess: Strengthen your skills and make an intergenerational connection across the chess board!
  • LGBTQ+ Affinity Group: Connect about what it means to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community and to learn from one another's experiences navigating the world.
  • Mindfulness: This workshop will open your eyes to how you can bring a little more mindfulness into your everyday life.
  • Music: Engage in storytelling and deep listening of the music — we’ll see how the generations are connected by a shared love of music.
  • Story Circles: We all have a story to tell. So, spend an hour each week engaging in Story Circles!
  • Taking Shape – Sensory Art: This creative art workshop invites participants to reconsider their domestic space through engaging the sense of touch, utilizing existing objects and elements in the home.
  • Theater Workshop: Acting and improv games help us build skills like active listening, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and risk taking. But most importantly, we will build community by playing, laughing, and having fun together, from the comfort of our own homes.
 

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 genuineconnections@dorotusa.org.

 

UPCOMING PROGRAM DATES:

WINTER: January 30-March 17, 2023

SPRING: March 20-May 18, 2023

 
We are grateful for UJA-Federation of New York for supporting DOROT’s Initiative: Building Social Connections and Increasing Visibility of LGBTQ Older Adults
 

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