Fostering intergenerational connections through the exchange of experience
Who We Are
Youth x Senior Buddies is a project seeking to revive personalized, profound interaction between two seemingly polarized groups in society: young adolescents and senior citizens. In the face of a global crisis, we must force ourselves to confront and rethink our approaches to the behaviors we have normalized; we must embrace the endless ways in which we can positively impact and stand with the communities around us - and actively work towards implementing them. Through YSB, we aim to mitigate the vulnerability often experienced by the senior community (and heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic) by reducing the notion of isolation and elucidating the concept of aging to younger individuals.
How We Do It
YSB employs video conferencing services to collaborate with senior care centers in organizing virtual sessions where volunteers are able to engage in friendly interaction with the residents. These sessions will be personalized based on the availability and interests of both the volunteers and residents to maximize the quality of the experience, and will foster a healthy environment for personal development and growth.
Our Unique Approach
Instead of pairing one volunteer with one senior, we match small groups of volunteers with small groups of senior citizens. We believe such mini group settings facilitate the exchange of more diverse perspectives and allow volunteers and seniors from different cities and states to interact with each other. We are also expanding to have seniors from different centers virtually mingle with one another.
We collaborate with our volunteers and senior residents to select preferred topics of interest, such as current affairs or Ted Talks, and train our volunteers to hold strong conversation with the residents to improve communication skills and foster lasting connections.
Volunteers with a passion for music can sing, play, and showcase their talent during sessions and engage the residents in a lively experience. Music is known for its positive and calming impact on the mind.
We will be participating in community art projects such as themed decorating/painting of the care center windows as requested, as well as engaging in crafts such as origami during the video sessions.
Volunteers can guide the seniors in virtual chair yoga sessions and meditation.
Volunteers and seniors can select a poem they find meaningful and read and discuss it.
Volunteers and seniors can play online games like trivia, pictionary, hangman, solving puzzles, and many more.
Outreach Lead & Web Developer
Shrinandan is a junior at Cupertino High School. In his free time, he enjoys playing competitive volleyball, programming, and baking his favorite desserts.
Symposium & Advocacy Lead
Sriya is a junior at Rice University studying Public Health and Biochemistry. In her free time, she loves to talk and play board games with her grandparents, garden, and white-water raft.
YSB Educate Lead
Sindhu is a sophomore at the University of Washington studying Medical Anthropology and Global Health. She enjoys exploring the scenic outdoors, playing basketball, and whipping up new recipes.
Sahith is a high school senior at Bellarmine College Preparatory. Sahith is a natural gourmet chef and enjoys making good food. Come a sunny day, Sahith will be out biking with his friends.