'Meet My Hamilton': An intergenerational social program
Now in its second year, ‘Meet My Hamilton’ is a virtual intergenerational social program offered by the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA).
After a successful year of programming in 2020-21, we are pleased to offer this program again for the 2021-22 year. Its aim: to bring students and older adults from the Hamilton community together in a virtual environment that allows participants to meet new people from the comfort of their own homes (or dorm rooms!). ‘Meet My Hamilton’ will give students and older community members the opportunity to learn from each other, and share their interests and life experiences. This virtual intergenerational programming will provide students with a unique volunteer opportunity to add to their resume and gain experience working and communicating with older adults. According to our participants last year, it is also a great opportunity to stay social, meet new people, and learn about other people’s unique experiences.
During these virtual intergenerational activities, students will engage with community members aged 65+ over video-conferencing. Programming will include casual conversation, as well as organized games and programs, and provide opportunities to explore various topics and activities together. MIRA will organize the activities in partnership with students on experiential learning placements from the Department of Health Aging and Society. Participants will be provided with a brief orientation and welcome video to best facilitate making these connections.
Ultimately, we hope that this programming will give students and their conversation partners a chance to establish new friendships and learn from each other’s life experiences.
This program is open to any undergraduate or graduate student currently enrolled at McMaster University. This program may be of particular appeal to students who are interested in community engagement, volunteering and leadership, healthy aging and working with older adults. However, even if your area of focus doesn’t include any of the above, ‘Meet My Hamilton’ offers a unique opportunity for any student looking to meet new people in the Hamilton community.
The fall session of the program will begin the second week of September (Sept. 13-17) and will take place every other week, from September to December. Participants are welcome to continue with the program in the winter semester as well. Program dates and times will be announced in the middle of August. While we expect most people will want to chat for around 45 minutes to an hour, online programming allows everyone the flexibility to chat a little longer as well!
Meet My Hamilton’ will be offered through Zoom where students and community members will have the option to participate through video or phone.
What will you get out of the program?
A large percentage of Canadians will soon be over 65 years of age, and building strong social connections with this age group will position participating students well for future career opportunities involving older adults. Students will receive a Certificate of Attendance and be able to complete one of the pillars of the McMaster Passport for Aging Education (macPAGE) certificate program using their hours from this program, which will help them share the skills they have learned with future employers and opportunities. This program will give all participants the unique opportunity to develop intergenerational communication skills, connect with their community, and stay connected while learning from home.
Are you interested?
Allison Ward | Project Manager