An Intergenerational Wisdom and Experience Fair took place in Summerside in February. The event was hosted by the Age-Friendly Cities Committee (AFCC) for the City of Summerside.
The AFCC is in year four of a five-year plan to help Summerside become age-friendly. “This year is dedicated to promoting relationships between seniors, age 55 plus, and youth, grade seven to post-secondary and beyond, so they can connect and learn from each other,” says Peter Holman, Co-Chair of AFCC.
The fair was the conclusion of meetings between youth and seniors who met over six weeks to discuss their shared interests. “For the seniors, it was a mentoring opportunity to share coaching skills, life experiences, and career paths,” says Shirlene O’Brien, Age-friendly Coordinator.
To learn more about AFCC, call Shirlene O’Brien at 902-206-1352 or email [email protected].
Some career paths explored:
Veterinary Medicine, Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC)
Vivian Xie was matched with Kathleen MacMillan DVM, MSc, Assistant Professor (Equine Ambulatory) at AVC. She is presently working on meeting the course requirements for admission to the Veterinary Medicine program.
Vivian’s family is from China. She entered grade one on PEI and progressed through the grades very quickly. “I become interested in veterinary work from my grandmother and my high school biology teacher,” says Vivian.
Her grandmother was a high school biology and chemistry teacher. “She taught my sister and me so many things without us even knowing through everyday learning.
“My father, mother and grandmother help me to live a balanced life and encourage me to reach my goals.
“Even though I gave birth to her, she doesn’t belong to me, she belongs to society,” says her mother Hai Yan Jiang. “Our role is to teach her how to live in the community.”
Yakosu Umana is taking the Journalism program at UPEI and plans to study law. “Speaking with George Lyle has been a great experience and has given me vast knowledge of the career I am heading into. I like the idea that studying law can lead to a variety of career choices. I am interested in politics, and also I like the idea of helping others.”
Timi Daniel is taking an Arts degree program at UPEI. “It is not every day you get to speak one-on-one with someone in a career you are interested in.”
“The potential for a career in law on PEI is fantastic,” says George.
“I really enjoyed the time spent with the students. This mentorship program could expand and be promoted to many more youth.”
Rachel Boulter’s family has owned horses for many years, and Rachel wanted to learn about harness racing. “She is 15 and I am 63, and she has five more years’ experience with horsemanship than I do,” says Shirlene O’Brien.
“Shirlene introduced me to her two horses and showed me how they maintain the barn where the horses are boarded,” says Rachel. “I learned about the parts of the harness and how to put it on. Then she let her trainer take me out on the track in the double-seated cart, and I got to drive the horse around the track. It was amazing – a dream come true.”
Shirlene and Rachel plan to work together on getting their trainer’s license. “We will go through the 350-page manual and both take the exam.”
“Rachel has talked about career choices in harness racing and in veterinary medicine, so this experience has given her a chance to explore her interests,” says Rachel’s mother Ruth.
“Peter Holman and I researched the difference between working at a Credit Union versus a Chartered Bank. I would like to start at a bank as a teller,” says Cole MacKay.
“I started as a teller and when I retired I was a senior manager of the assets management department for southern Alberta,” says Peter.
“I slowly climbed the corporate ladder and no matter where we were living, I always intended to retire on PEI.
“When we went to Alberta I worked for Social Services for three years. I found those jobs did not offer the security of working in banking.
“At the time we had two small children and a mortgage and I couldn’t take the chance of unsteady employment. So I transferred to ATB Financial, Alberta’s government owned bank, and stayed there for 28 years.”
Software Engineering Technology
Malcolm Merx was nine years old when he first took an interest in software engineering. “I wanted to know how software works, so I started to learn coding.” He also participated in a coding program called Game Force. During his time with Jenna Gaudet, she set up a tour of the UPEI School of Sustainable Design Engineering. He also worked on their 3D printer creating the Walt Disney character Stitch, shown in photo.
He would like to pursue his career dreams by studying Software Engineering Technology at the University of Waterloo, and he would like to eventually work as a game designer. “To prepare for university, in grade 10, I will take computer science, and in grade 11 and 12, I will take robotics.
“This opportunity to meet with Jenna and tour SSDE was incredible.”
“Our focus was to make connections to help him plan his career,” says Jenna. “He certainly is in better shape than I was at the age of 15, because he knows what he wants to do.”