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Topic 6 - Posted April 19, 2018


Living through Legacies - Rediscovering life through an educational experience by Lindsey Bartelt


St. Camillus is a Life Plan Community full of resident stories to be shared and memories to be remembered. One of the most beautiful aspects about senior living is being able to hear about amazing moments in history from someone who lived through it, or gathering advice from our elders that could, in turn, help us through our life journey.


To cherish the legacies of the our elders, St. Camillus decided to implement an enjoyable, educational experience for the Cristo Rey Jesuit High School Students during their work study program at St. Camillus.  At Cristo Rey Milwaukee Jesuit High School, the main focus is rigorous college preparatory academics along with incorporating professional work experience through a corporate work study program.  Through the program, the Cristo Rey students work in job-sharing teams of four and are paired with companies based on interests and skill sets. The students work five full days per month allowing them to experience real world professional occupations, build their resources, and network with community contacts.


This semester at St. Camillus, each Cristo Rey student was paired up with an Assisted Living resident to build a relationship with, interview, and create a visually appealing presentation on the resident’s legacy to present to the resident, resident’s family, friends and staff. Throughout the past three months, the Cristo Rey Jesuit students met with their residents on a weekly basis and have been working diligently to gather information for their presentations. The most important facet of the legacy project is that it is mutually beneficial, allowing the resident to reminisce and talk about memories that they might not share on a regular basis.


All four residents that were interviewed shared how blessed they were to be able to live a full life, own a home, raise their children, and be healthy. The intergenerational element of St. Camillus’ legacy project was tremendously impactful, allowing both the resident and student to discover new things through conversation and rediscover old memories through reminiscing.


“It was delightful to be present at the legacy presentation not only to learn about the wonderful life of some of our residents, but to realize that life is truly about the little moments and living The American Dream.”  - Lindsey Bartelt, St. Camillus Volunteer Coordinator

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