“I will take the relationships I’ve made as well as the information I’ve acquired and carry them with me throughout my career as a professional in the field of gerontology.”
For my gerontology internship, I was placed at LifeSpan located in Hamilton, Ohio. The project I worked on consisted of developing a business plan and implementation strategy to start an evidence-based self-management support group for elderly African-American women in neighboring communities. My project consisted of conducting a lot of research on the health statuses of African-Americans in the state of Ohio, assessing the need for such a program in the Hamilton area, and compiling a list of local organizations that may be interested in providing services for participants in the program. LifeSpan was interested in having me work on this specific program because I had experience planning and starting organizations at my university. The fact that I am African-American female, was a bonus! I’ve been able to apply my own knowledge of issues minorities face directly to my project. Since I’d never had experience preparing business plans, that is the major challenge I faced. I did not imagine how much time, effort, and research are put into developing a stellar business plan. I would not have made it thus far, without the help of my supervisor, Bill Staler.
Participating in the Ohio Scholars in Aging Program has presented many opportunities that will aid in the successful implementation of this program at LifeSpan. I’ve been able to network with individuals who are experts in their fields. By preparing a business plan for a public health initiative, I learned how much work goes into starting public health programs. From my participation in the Ohio Scholars in Aging Program, I learned the importance of collaboration across disciplines, and have been able to apply what I’ve learned to my project by contacting organizations to establish partnerships with.
Overall, the information I’ve acquired because of my experience in the Ohio Scholars in Aging Program is exceedingly invaluable to me. I will take the relationships I’ve made as well as the information I’ve acquired and carry them with me throughout my career as a professional in the field of gerontology.
I’d like to thank the Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education for giving me the opportunity to learn how I can make an impact in the field of gerontology.