Parker’s Innovative Intergenerational Program Builds Future Leaders

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Student Interns and Volunteers ask questions of Parker Jewish Institute team members at their recent Career Day event in August.

Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation was proud to once again host their student summer volunteer program. Parker partners with New York City’s “Ladders for Leaders” (LFL) program, as well as 1199SEIU’s Youth Mentoring Program (YMP), NYC’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) and local high schools. Partnering with these and other programs fosters professional mentoring and development, as well as encourages good civic-mindedness. Most importantly, these programs provide many satisfying opportunities for high school and college-aged youth to explore career possibilities, become accustomed to the world of work environment, and interact with people of other generations, cultures and backgrounds. Parker Jewish Institute is proud to support these programs and is honored to be part of the mentoring process for these young adults, whose presence brings joy to Parker’s elderly patients and residents.

Through the sponsorship of NYC’s Department of Youth & Community Development, LFL provides paid internships to City youth between the ages of 16 and 22. These interns are carefully vetted.

“All our applicants are evaluated based on their academic performance, responses to essay questions and résumé quality,” said Danielle DeAngelis, LMSW, Youth Employment Program Manager at Samuel Field and Central Queens YM & YWHA (her administrative staff finds internships and runs the program). “Ladders For Leaders helps high school and college students with paid internships, so they can get experience in different fields while earning money,” DeAngelis said.

Selected applicants undertake 20-30 hours of pre-employment training to teach essential workplace readiness skills and professional etiquette.

Participants then have an opportunity to interview for summer internships at many partners, such as Maimonides Medical Center, Morgan Stanley, New York Hospital Cornell, New York University Medical Center, Queens Chamber of Commerce and Parker Jewish Institute. Employer partners make final selections on hiring for paid internships.

Parker’s President and CEO, Michael N. Rosenblut, commented on how impressed he was to meet such a talented and mature group of young adults, who truly were enthusiastic and engaging with the residents and patients, as well as with the team members. Parker hosted 130 interns and volunteers this summer.

“The students had the opportunity to experience interning with professional staff in departments that included public affairs, finance, development, nutrition, social work, nursing, pharmacy, medicine, therapeutic recreation, physical and occupational therapy, etc. Some interacted with patients and residents, bringing joy and delight to their days,” Rosenblut said. Also, through the 1199SEIU Youth Mentoring Program, union member’s children can apply for paid internships through the 1199SEIU Child Care Fund. Through their program, 15 youth were volunteers at Parker this summer. He added that through their various partners, Parker has hundreds of interns as volunteers throughout the year.

Parker was one of Ladders For Leaders first health care partners.

Pratima Bhagwandin, director of volunteers, coordinates Parker’s Career Day and the Volunteer Recognition Luncheon. The volunteers and interns attended these events in August.

Darnel Rogers was sent through the LFL program, a senior at SUNY Oneonta, graduating next May with a Bachelor Degree in Business Economics. Rogers sang songs for the seniors. Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me To The Moon” and the Ink Blot’s “Set The World On Fire” are two examples. He interned in the Development Department on Parker’s Golf Classic, following up with sponsors and working on promoting the event. Rogers enjoyed Career Day because he spoke with Parker’s Finance team and learned how finance plays a large role in health care. He’s interested in a hospitality career, and hopes to run a hotel one day.

Anandita Guha came to Parker through the Volunteer Department and volunteered with the Therapeutic Recreation Department. She spent time with the patients and residents, getting to know them, what activities they liked, talked with them, and most importantly listened to them. As an accomplished student of dance, she also performed “Bollywood Style” dancing for patients at Parker, which they really enjoyed. She is a student at Kew Forest High School in Kew Gardens, and plans to become an anesthesiologist.

Joy Nath is a Bronx High School student and came to Parker through the 1199SIEU program. Through the 1199SIEU program, Nath received guidance with resume writing, cover letters, interview skills, etc. He’ll include his stint in Parker’s gift shop on his resume. This recent high school graduate will attend The Macaulay Honors College at Lehman College in the Bronx, for a career in nursing.

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