Members of the Vitito Global Leadership Institute’s 2019 class worked to complete their capstone service project titled “Smiles for Seniors,” which benefited Edgewood Assisted Living Center.
The group had about seven weeks to plan and implement a project that would suit the Edgewood residents’ needs.
“Our first step was meeting with Nancy Kaufman, our contact at Edgewood,” said Sierra Szagesh, a marketing and international business junior. “After receiving a tour of the center, we were able to ask questions about items that residents often need or what many residents enjoy doing for past-time activities.”
The group chose to stuff Easter eggs, host a painting activity and create care packages for the residents. They also reached out to RSO’s on campus and asked for donations. Each organization that donated provided a photo of themselves and a letter about who they are and what they do on campus.
“It was important to us that each and every resident be impacted by our project,” Szagesh said. “To add a personal touch, we reached out to SVSU students and had them write personalized letters, motivational quotes and their favorite things about SVSU.”
Not only did the project give the group a chance to exercise their leadership skills, but it also allowed them to learn more about assisted living communities.
“We learned so many important things about the residents of assisted living centers, such as how these differ from independent living centers or nursing homes,” Szagesh said.
The students enjoyed creating relationships and seeing the smiles on both residents’ and volunteers’ faces.
“We think that an experience like this makes memories that will last forever, and that is something that we are so proud of creating,” Szagesh said.