GreenFields of Geneva has an infusion of youth every night as the Savanna dining room and adjacent Bistro employ students from area high schools as the serving staff. It’s with tremendous fondness and pride, combined with its fair share of melancholy, that GreenFields will host a graduation party for nine of its servers on July 14th. “We are sad they’re leaving although happy to see them starting the next chapter of their lives,” said Judi Donovan, executive director of GreenFields. “We have a great group who are energetic and enthusiastic.”
The intergenerational aspect of the work arrangement has a powerful and positive impact on everyone involved. “From the young person’s perspective, not everybody has grandparents living close by. From the seniors’ perspective, not every older adult has grandchildren close by, so this opportunity for intergenerational relationships is just very rich,” said Donovan. “There’s a strong bond and mutual appreciation.”
“The residents love having the students here and look forward to seeing them,” said Sharon Bourdon, director of dining services. This includes but is not limited to interaction during regular work hours. As an example, many of the students stopped at GreenFields while on the way to their senior promos, to show the residents how great they looked all dressed up.
Working at GreenFields is the first job for many of the young people and it’s very different than other, more traditional first jobs. “They have the unique privilege of working every day in the home of GreenFields residents. This is a great way to learn life skills including respect, patience, giving from the heart and listening. They’re learning customer service skills and how to respond to the needs of the residents and forming friendships along the way,” Donovan said.
While the students are all going on to college, they are being encouraged to return to work at GreenFields during their school vacations. “They’re very much a part of our community and always welcome back,” Donovan said. “And we look forward to learning about the great things
they’re bound to do.”
The graduates being honored are:
Brian DiDonato, Christian Stornello, Cody House, Dana Trojanowski, Josh Kochiarczyk, Kristina Costello and Samantha Billek from Geneva High School; Christopher Koch from Batavia High School and Devin Asberger from Glenbard North High School.
GreenFields is an exceptional LifeCare community offering an ideal location, a retirement lifestyle you’ll love, and the most comprehensive plan available for long-term care if ever needed. Sponsored by Friendship Senior Options, GreenFields is a sister community to Friendship Village, the largest retirement community in Illinois and the first to become accredited. GreenFields is located at 0N801 Friendship Way in Geneva. For additional information, visit www.GreenFieldsofGeneva.org.