"My focus was to recruiting volunteers to mentor kids in public schools."

Louis Weisberg
Metropolitan Family Service
Portland, OR

 

When Louis decided to retire from Intel, after twenty years in project and program management, he was looking forward to doing something else, this time in the social impact sector. As he interviewed for his Encore Fellowship as Generation to Generation (Gen2Gen) Project Leader for Metropolitan Family Service in Portland, OR, he realized he wanted to work with issues around older adults and the longevity revolution. Gen2Gen is Encore.org’s campaign to tap the talent of people age 50+ to help kids who need champions.

“My focus was to recruit volunteers for our Experience Corps team, adults 50+ who volunteer to mentor kids in Eastside Portland and Gresham public schools. Our chief goals were to fill all 2017-18 volunteer positions and to diversify our volunteer base.”

Louis experimented with more outreach, connecting with organizations such as SEI (Self Enhancement Inc.) and the Coalition of Communities of Color, as well as recruiting at events like Good in the Hood. He also utilized social media (he was named one of the most digitally active members in the nation by Gen2Gen), and facilitated meetings where volunteers shared stories of their experiences working with the next generation. Louis also started taking courses on gerontology and joined the board of the Beaverton Committee on Aging.

After his Encore Fellowship, Louis joined the Oregon Health and Science University as a Research Assistant in the Neurology Department. He is part of an internet-based conversational engagementclinical trial at the Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center. The purpose is to measure whether regular video chat conversations with socially isolated adults aged 80+ will improve their health and well-being. They will be collecting data to determine if, after a year, cognitive skills have improved. He’salso continuing his studies, working as a substitute teacher, and continuing his work on the Committee on Aging.

“The Encore Fellowship gave me the idea of working in aging. I couldn’t have gone on to my encore without the Fellowship. It’s a totally different experience from my career. I was able to point to my Fellowship experience, my studies and my work on aging as reasons why this career change made sense and why I wanted this work as a Research Assistant. Most of the people were young, students, just out of school. They were happy to have a diversity in age in their Research Assistants and I get to work in an area that I want. This is exactly the kind of job I was hoping for…. nonprofit work engaged with helping older adults!”

 

Interested in becoming an Encore Fellow? Learn more and apply at https://encore.org/fellowships/fellow/

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