Having the experience to know what makes a difference is one thing; having the opportunity to make a difference is another. The Third Age Initiative enables older/retirement-aged people to have the opportunity to channel their wisdom and experience in ways that give back to the community. Since the program began, about 350 older adults have brought their unique socioeconomic, ethnic, educational, and cultural perspectives to the group.
"The Third Age Initiative was a launching pad for me and my classmates. We found numerous ways to put our skills and knowledge to use. My team continues its work; in fact, I re-engaged with a local nonprofit, serving as chairman of the board of directors this year. I still attend Leadership Greater Hartford events regularly, and suggest that my friends learn about this wonderful program."
Third Age Initiative participants share experiences during workshops and a retreat, and work collaboratively to create community action projects. More than three dozen team projects have addressed issues such as children’s literacy, hunger, arts and heritage education, intergenerational mentoring, neighborhood redevelopment, reentry of formerly incarcerated into the community, financial literacy, and more.
"Even though I am helping others, I am the one who is reaping the rewards. It is powerful to know that I can make a difference. Even after graduation I plan to continue to stay involved with my project."