Guest Blog by Vice President of Business Development and Strategy Rosemary Jordan

At Elder Care Alliance, our team spends most of our time working to create great experiences infused with joy and purpose for older adults in our communities. In fact, our aim is to achieve recognition for operating “Communities of Purpose.”

As we begin to expand our offerings to realize this vision, we’ve concluded that a critical support to our vibrant neighborhoods is the presence of young people — and that’s why this month we’re proud to announce our participation with FACES for the Future. FACES for the Future is a pathway program serving high school students interested in pursuing a career in health care or holistic well-being — that’s what we do at Elder Care Alliance.

We’re thrilled to be working with the local team that helped develop FACES for the Future from a small idea to a scalable, celebrated program. FACES programs now exist in many parts of the country, and are meeting the diverse needs of youth and health and wellness employers. Ninety percent of graduates pursue a career in a health or health-related profession, and do so by directly pursuing additional post-secondary education. This is the kind of program we need to meet the needs of our ambitious youth AND fill the many vacancies we anticipate as our older population grows.

In small groups, rotating in six-week cycles, we’ll work with these high school students here at Elder Care Alliance to share with them the remarkable breadth of opportunities available in service to older adults and their families. Our work-based learning experiences will be supported by the FACES team’s involvement in holistic wellness, academic preparation and leadership development. We’ll supplement all this with our signature curricula aimed at educating young adults about ageism and ableism — and empowering them to identify and root out bias against older adults and people with disabilities everywhere they find it.

Elder Care Alliance is launching this program at an auspicious time — when the nation is recognizing National Mentorship Month. The resolution that any employer can make in this first month of the year is to redouble efforts to be part of the support system for youth who may not have an adult mentor in their lives. In fact, 9 million young people have no mentor outside their family.

I’m personally thrilled to serve as a mentor in 2020 to students from our community who bring with them all kinds of dreams. My colleagues and I hope that we can help a few take that next step to see those dreams realized.

Please join us in making every month an opportunity to create a new mentoring relationship with a young person. Learn more at www.mentoring.org.